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Fellow of the Geological Society ; Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society 
Member of the Institution of Mining and Metallurgy 

Late Mining Specialist, Government of India ; formerly Assistant 
Government Geologist, Queensland ; etc. 

Sometime New Zealand Government Mining Scholar ; 

Senior Scholar, New Zealand University' ; 

and 1851 Exhibition Scholar 

With One Coloured Plate and 278 Illustrations 


&be Wawxa Journal 


All Rights Reserved 







The writer who would add one more treatise to the litera- 
ture of the study of ore-deposits must needs show justification. 
He must present either new facts or a new and more 
scientific arrangement of already-published data. It is hoped 
that, to some degree at least, both these ends have been 
attained in the present volume. In order that the value of 
the collected facts may be in no wise impaired by 
possibly erroneous correlation, speculative inferences have here 
been sharply differentiated from the data of observation. This 
arrangement of the subject is presented with the more con- 
fidence since it is believed that absolute progress in the science 
of ore -deposits will, in the future, be made largely, if not 
entirely, by inductive reasoning. A compilation of the known 
facts concerning the deposition of a single metal, and of 
one possessing fairly well-defined characters, both native and 
in combination, has therefore seemed a not unnecessary contri- 
bution towards the foundation on which a stable hypothesis 
of ore-deposition must be erected. The correlation of the 
data obtained has for the present been considered of minor 
importance, and every effort has, on the other hand, been 
directed towards the presentation in readily accessible form 
of the salient facts of auriferous deposition. 

Some apology may be deemed necessary for crudities of 
style. The collection of data was commenced without any 
thought of publication, and the book itself has been written 
during a period snatched from professional work a period 
that, though long in itself, is short when regard is had to the 
importance of the subject. The literature of gold is stupendous, 
and as all the authorities quoted, with hundreds of others, 
were carefully read, and as the contents of a single volume of 


handy size are limited, it has been necessary to sacrifice other 
considerations to the essential claims of accuracy and brevity. 

Whatever apologies may be due in the foregoing respect, 
it is felt that none are necessary in respect of the general incon- 
clusiveness and vagueness of the speculative sections of the 
volume. With the facts at command inconclusiveness is 
unavoidable in dealing with the subject, and the writer or pro- 
fessor who, from the security of the study or the lecture-room, 
cries order where there is no order, is not materially advancing 
his science, inasmuch as the student on passing to the mine and 
failing to observe there those sharp divisions of ores and ore- 
deposits he had hitherto looked upon as fundamental, is 
disposed to ascribe the lack of correspondence between hypo- 
thesis and observation to an innate inability to grasp the 
relations of the subject, and the services of a promising observer 
are soon lost to science. Even the very broad grouping of gold- 
deposits adopted in this volume must certainly be materially 
modified when the general principles underlying auriferous 
deposition come to be more fully understood. 

In the collection of the notes embodied herein I have 
visited the principal gold-districts of Europe, India, Eastern 
and Western North America, Australia, and New Zealand ; 
the data adduced for other regions is therefore derived entirely 
from the authorities quoted. Even for those goldfields 
examined, the facts obtained have in the majority of cases 
been largely the result of the observation of local geologists, 
for it rarely happens that a sojourn of a few days on a goldfield 
results in the acquisition of new, and at the same time accurate 
information. Often the sole, but by no means unimportant 
result of personal examination has been the ability to dis- 
criminate between the essential and the trivial in the published 
literature of the given field. It has manifestly been impossible, 
even had it been desirable, to include a complete bibliography 
of the literature of gold, but it is confidently believed that 
reference to the authorities quoted will give, not only a wide 


conspectus of the geological knowledge of any goldfield, but 
also a fairly complete bibliography of its literature, since those 
authorities, who follow the excellent practice of including biblio- 
graphies of the subject treated, have, wherever possible, been 

This opportunity is gladly taken of acknowledging my 
obligation to Mr. W. Rupert Jones, Assistant Librarian of the 
Geological Society of London, both for the courtesy with which 
his unique bibliographical knowledge has been placed at my 
disposal, and for his complete annual catalogues of geological 
literature, the use of which has materially lightened the labour 
of research. Acknowledgments are also due to the various 
mining engineers who have so kindly furnished either informa- 
tion or illustrations ; it is trusted that it may not be 
deemed invidious to mention more particularly in this respect 
the name of Messrs. John Taylor and Sons. Finally, my in- 
debtedness must be expressed to those scientific societies and 
geological surveys whose volumes have been laid so freely 
under contribution to furnish data and illustrations. 

Malcolm Maclaren. 


November, 1908. 


Abbreviations of Principal Serials cited. 

Abh. k.-preuss. geol. Landesanst. Abhandlungen der koniglich-preussischen geologise hen 

Landesanstalt. Berlin. 
Amer. Geol. American Geologist. Minneapolis (Minn.). See Econ. Geol. 
Amer. Jour. Sci. American Journal of Science. New Haven (Conn.). 
An. Mus. Nac. Salvador. Anales del Museo Nagional de Salvador. San Salvador. 
Ann. Chim. Phys. Annales de chimie et de physique, Paris. 
Ann. des Mines, Paris. Annales des Mines. Paris. 
Ann. Rep. Bur. Mines, B.C. Annual Report of the Bureau of Mines, British Columbia. 

Victoria (B.C.). 
Ann. Rep. Dep. Mines, N.S.W. Annual Report of the Department of Mines and Agri- 
culture, New South Wales. Sydney. 
Ann. Rep. Dep. Mines, Queensl. Annual Report of the Under Secretary for Mines, 

Queensland. Brisbane. 
Ann. Rep. Geol. Surv. Canada. Annual Report of the Geological Survey of Canada. 

Ann. Rep. Geol. Surv. Natal. Annual Report of the Geological Survey of Natal. Pieter- 

Ann. Rep. Geol. Surv. Queensl. Annual Progress Report of the Geological Survey of 

Queensland. Brisbane. 
Ann. Rep. Geol. Surv. Transvaal. Annual Report of the Geological Survey of the 

Transvaal. Pretoria. 
Ann. Rep. Geol. Surv. W. Austr. Annual Progress Report of the Geological Survey. 

Perth (W. Austr.). 
Ann. Rep. Sec. Mines, Victoria. Annual Report of the Secretary of Mines, Victoria. 

Ann. Rep. State Min. Cal. Annual Report of the State Mineralogist, California. 
Ann. Rep. U.S. Geol. Surv. Annual Report of the United States Geological Survey. 

Washington (B.C.). 
Ann. Sci. Univ. Jassy. Annales scientifiques de l'Universite de Jassy. Jassy (Rumania). 
Ann. Soc. geol. Belg. Annales de la Societe geologique de Belgique. Liege. 
Archiv. Mus. Nac. Rio de Janeiro. Archivos do Museu Nacional do Rio de Janeiro. Rio 

de Janeiro. 
Atti R. Ace. Lincei, Rendic. Atti della Reale Accademia dei Lincei, Rendiconti. Rome. 
Atti R. Ace. Sci. Torino. Atti della Reale Accademia delle Scienze di Torino. Turin. 
Aust. Min. Stand. Australian Mining Standard. Sydney. 

Berichte Chem. Gesell. Berichte der deutschen chemischen Gesellschaft. Berlin. 
Berg-hiitt. Jahrb. Wien. Berg- und huttenmannisches Jahrbuch der kaiserlich-koniglichen 

Bergakademien zu Leoben und Pribram und der koniglich-ungarischen Bergaka- 
demie zu Schemnitz. Vienna. 
Berg- u. Hiitt. Zeit. Berg- und Huttenmannische Zeitung, Freiburg. 
Bol. Ing. Minas, Peril. Boletin del Cuerpo de Ingenieros de Minas del Peru. Lima. 
Boll. Soc. geog. ital. Bollettino della Societa geographica italiana. Rome. 


Bol. Soc. Nac. Mineria, Santiago. Boletin de la Sociedad Nacional de Mineria. Santiago 

de Chile. 
Bull. Col. State Mining Bur. Bulletin of the Californian State Mining Bureau. San 

Bull. Com. g'col. Russie. Bulletins du Comite geologique. St. Petersburg. 
Bull. Com. g'col. Finlande. Bulletin de la Commission geologique de Finlande. Helsingfors. 
Bull. Geol. Sgc. Am. Bulletin of the Geological Society of America. Rochester (N.Y.). 
Bull. Geol. Surv. Queensl. Bulletin of the Geological Survey of Queensland (Department 

of Mines). Brisbane. 
Bull. Oeol. Surv. Victoria. Bulletin of the Geological Survey of Victoria. Melbourne. 
Bull. Geol. Surv. W. Austr. Bulletin of the Geological Survey of Western Australia. 

Perth (W. Austr.). 
Bull. Geol. Univ. Col. Bulletin of the Department of Geology, University of California. 

Berkeley (Cal.). 
Bull. Mus. Hist. not. Paris. Bulletin du Museum d'Histoire naturelle. Palis. 
Bull. N.Z. Geol. Surv. Bulletin of the New Zealand Geological Survey. Wellington (N.Z.). 
Bull. Soc. beige de Geol. Bulletin de la Societe beige de Geologie, de Paleontologie et 

d'Hydrologie. Brussels. 
Bull. Soc. franc. Min. Bulletin de la Societe francaise de Mineralogie. Paris. 
Bull. Soc. geol. Bulletin de la Societe geologique de France. Paris. 
Bull. Soc g'cog. Paris. Bulletin de la Societe geographique de France. Paris. 
Bull. Soc. a" Hist. not. Toulouse. Bulletin de la Societe d'Histoire naturelle de Toulouse. 

Bull. Soc. Indust. Min. Bulletin de la Societe de l'lndustrie Minerale. St. Etienne. 
Bull. Soc. oural. Sci. not. Bulletin de la Societe ouralienne d' Amateurs des Sciences 

naturelles. Ekaterinburg. 
Bull. U.S. Geol. Surv. Bulletin of the United States Geological Survey. Washington. 
Can. Min. Jour. Canadian Mining Journal, Ottawa. 

Centralbl. f. Min. Centralblatt fur Mineralogie, Geologie und Palaontologie. Stuttgart. 
Chem. Centralblatt. Chemisches Centralblatt, Leipzig. 
Chem. News. Chemical News. London. 

Com. geol. Buss. Bulletins du Comite geologique. St. Petersburg. 
C. R. Acad. Sci. Paris. Comptes-rendus hebdomadaires des Seances de l'Academie 

des Sciences. Paris. 
C. B. Congres geol. internal. Comptes-rendus du Congres geologique international. 
Cons. Rep. Diplomatic and Consular Reports. London. 
Echo des Mines. Echo des Mines, Paris. 
Econ. Geol. Economic Geology. Lancaster (Pa.). 
Eng. Mag. Engineering Magazine. New York. 
Eng. Min. Jour. Engineering and Mining Journal. New York. 
Expl. geol. Reg. aurij. Siberie. Explorations geologiques dans les Regions auriferes de 

la Siberie. St. Petersburg. 
Field Columbian Mus. Field Columbian Museum Publications. Chicago (111.). 
Foldt. Korl. Foldtani Kozlony. [Geological Magazine.] Budapest. 
Gen. Rep. Geol. Surv. India. General Report on the Work carried on by the Geological 

Survey of India. Calcutta. 
Geogr. Jour. Geographical Journal (Royal Geographical Society). London. 
Geol. Foren. Stockh. Fdrh. Geologiska Foreningens i Stockholm Forhandlingar. Stockholm. 
Geol. Mag. Geological Magazine. London. 
Geol. Surv. Canada. Geological Survey of Canada. Ottawa. 
Geol. Surv. Queensl., Publ. Geological Survey of Queensland : Publications. Brisbane 

See also Ann. Rep. Dep. Mines, Queensl. 
Great Britain and Ireland. Home Office. Mines and Quarries. General Report and 

Statistics. London. 


Jaarb. Mijnw. Ned. O.-Ind. Jaarboek van het Mijnwezen in Nederlandsch Oost-Indie. 

Jahrb. f. Berg- u. Hiittenw. Sachsen. Jahrbuch fiir das Berg- und Hiittenwesen im Konig- 

reiche Sachsen. Freiberg. 
Jahrb. k.-Jc. geol. Reichsanst. Jalirbuch der kaiserlich-koniglichen geologischen Reichs- 

anstalt. Vienna. 
Jahrb. k.-preuss. geol. Landesanst. Jahrbuch der koniglich-preiissischen geologischen 

Landesanstalt. Berlin. 
Jahrb. k.-unq. geol. Anst. Jahrbuch der koniglick-ungarischen geologischen Anstalt. 

Jahresb. k.-ung. geol. Anst. Jahresbericht der koniglich-ungarischen geologischen Anstalt. 

Jour. Am. Chem. Soc. Journal of the American Chemical Society, Washington. 
Jour. Asiat. Soc. Bengal. Journal and Proceedings of the Asiatic Society of Bengal. 

Jour. Canad. Mining Inst. Journal of the Canadian Mining Institute. Ottawa. 
Jour. Chem. Soc. Journal of the Chemical Society. London. 
Jour. Geol., Chicago. Journal of Geology. Chicago (111.). 
Jour, prakt. Chem. Journal fiir praktische Chemie. Leipzig. 
Jour. Boy. As. Soc. Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society. London. 
Jour. Boy. Soc. N.S.W. Journal and Proceedings of the Royal Society of New South 

Wales. Sydney. 
Jour. Soc. Arts. Journal of the Society of Arts. London. 

Mater. Geol. Buss. Materialien zur Geologie Russlands. Herausgegeben von der kaiser- 
lichen mineralogischen Gesellschaft. St. Petersburg. See also Materialen zur 
Mineralogie Russlands, von Kokscharov. St. Petersburg. 
Mem. Com. geol. Bussie. Memoires du Comite geologique. St. Petersburg. 
Mem. Geol. Surv. India. Memoirs of the Geological Survey of India. Calcutta. 
Mem. Geol. Surv. N.S. W. Memoirs of the Geological Survey of New South Wales. Sydney. 
Mem. Geol. Surv. Victoria. Memoirs of the Geological Survey of Victoria. Melbourne. 
Mem. Mysore Geol. Dep. Memoirs of the Mysore Geological Department. Bangalore. 
Mem. Soc. cient. "Ant. Alzate." Memorias y Revista de la Sociedad cientifica " Antonio 

Alzate." Mexico. 
Min. Mag. The Mineralogical Magazine and Journal of the Mineralogical Society. 

Mines and Minerals. Mines and Minerals. Scran ton (Pa.). 
Min. Mitth. Mineral ogische Mittheilungen ; von Tschermak. Vienna. 
M in. Jour. Mining Journal. Railway and Commercial Gazette. London. 
Mining Mag. Mining Magazine. New York. 
Min. Sci. Press. Mining and Scientific Press. San Francisco. 
Min. World. Chic. Mining World, Chicago. 
Monatsb. deutsch. geol. Gesellsch. Monatsberichte der deutschen geologischen Gesellschaft. 

Mon. U.S. [Geol. Surv. Monographs of the United States Geological Survey. 

Washington (D.C.). 
Natal Bep. Mining. Natal Report on the Mining Industry of Natal. Pietermaritzburg. 
Nature. Nature. London. 

N. J. f. Min. Neues Jahrbuch fiir Mineralogie, Geologie und Palaontologie. Stuttgart. 
N.S.W. Dep. Mines, Min. Besources. New South Wales Department of Mines. Mineral 

Resources. Sydney. 
N.Z. Mines Becord. New Zealand Govt. Mines Record. Wellington. 
Oesterr. Zeit. fiir Berg- u. Hiitt. Oesterreichische Zeitschrift fiir Berg- und Hiittenwesen. 


Papers and Rep. Min. and Mining, N.Z. Papers and Reports relating to Minerals and 
Mining, N.Z. Wellington (N.Z.). 

Perak Gov. Gaz. Perak Government Gazette. Taiping. 

Peterm. Mitth. Peterniann's Mittheilungen. Gotha. 

Phil. Mag. Philosophical Magazine. London. 

Pogg. Ann. Annalen von Poggendorff. Halle. 

Proc. Gottesw. Nat. F.G. Proceedings of the Cotteswold Naturalists' Field Club. Gloucester. 

Proc. Geol. Soc. S.A. Proceedings of the Geological Society of South Africa. Johannesburg. 

Proc. Inst. G.E. Minutes and Proceedings of the Institution of Civil Engineers. London. 

Proc. Linn. Soc. N. S. W. Proceedings of the Linnean Society of New South Wales. Sydney. 

Proc. Rhodesia Sci. Assoc. Proceedings of the Rhodesia Scientific Association. Bulawayo. 

Proc. Roy. Soc. Victoria. Proceedings of the Royal Society of Victoria. Melbourne. 

Proc. and Trans. N.S. Inst. Sci. Proceedings and Transactions of the Nova Scotia Institute 
of Science. Halifax (N.S.). 

Prof. Papers, U.S. Geol. Surv. Professional Papers. United States Geological Survey. 

Q. J. G. S. Quarterly Journal of the Geological Society. London. 

Rec. Geol. Surv. India. Records of the Geological Survey of India. Calcutta. 

Rec. Geol. Surv. N.S. W. Records of the Geological Survey of New South Wales. Sydney. 

Rec. Geol. Surv. Victoria. Records of the Geological Survey of Victoria. Melbourne. 

Rep. Austral. Assoc. Adv. Sci. Report of the Australasian Association for the Advance- 
ment of Science. Sydney. 

Rep. Bur. Mines, Canad. Report of the Bureau of Mines, Canada. Ottawa. 

Rep. Dep. Mines, Mysore. Report of the Chief Inspector of Mines in Mysore. Bangalore. 

Rep. Dep. Mines, N.S. Report of the Department of Mines, Nova Scotia. Halifax (N.S.). 

Rep. Dep. Mines, N.S. W. Report of the Secretary of the Department of Mines. Sydney. 

Rep. Dep. Mines, Transvaal. See Transvaal Mines Dep. 

Rep. Dep. Mines, Vict. Report of the Department of Mines, Victoria. Melbourne. 

Rep. Dep. Mines, W. Austr. Report of the Department of Mines, Western Australia. 
Perth (W. Austr.). 

Rep. Geol. Surv. Newfoundland. Report of the Geological Survey of Newfoundland. 
St. John's (N.F.). 

Rep. Geol. Surv. Queensland. Report of the Geological Survey of Queensland. Brisbane. 

Rep. Geol. Surv. Transvaal. See Transvaal Mines Dep., Rep. Geol. Surv. 

Rep. Inst. Mines & Forests, Brit. Guiana. Report of the Council of the Institute of Mines 
and Forests on the Gold and Forest Industries of British Guiana. Georgetown 

Rep. Ontario Bur. Mines. Report of the Ontario Bureau of Mines. Toronto. 

Rep. Surv. Dep. Egypt. Report on the Work of the Survey Department. Cairo. 

Rev. Sci. Revue Scientifique. Paris. 

Russ. Min. Gesell. See Verh. russ.-k. Min. Gesellsch. 

St. Petersburg Min. Soc. See Verh. russ.-k. Min. Gesellsch. 

Tasm. Dep. Mines. Reports of the Department of Mines, Tasmania. Hobart. 

Trans. Am. Inst. M.E. Transactions of the American Institute of Mining Engineers. 
New York. 

Trans. Austr. Inst. M.E. Transactions of the Australasian Institute of Mining Engineers. 
Melbourne and Sydney. 

Trans. Geol. Soc. S.A. Transactions of the Geological Society of South Africa. Johannes- 

Trans. Inst. Min. Met. Transactions of the Institution of Mining and Metallurgy. 

Trans. Inst. M.E. Transactions of the Institution of Mining Engineers. Newcastle- 


Trans. N. Engl. Inst. Min. cfc Mech. Eng. Transactions of the North of England Institute 

of Mining and Mechanical Engineers. Newcastle-upon-Tyne. 
Trans. N.Z. Inst. Transactions and Proceedings of the New Zealand Institute. Wellington 

Trans. S. A. Phil. Soc. Transactions of the South African Philosophical Society. Cape 

Transvaal Mines Dep., Rep., Geol. Surv. Transvaal Mines Department. Report of 

the Geological Survey. Pretoria. 
Verh. deidsch. wissensch. Ver. Santiago. Verhandlungen des deutschen wissenschaftlicher 

Vereins zu Santiago de Chile. Valparaiso. 
Verh. naturh. Ver. preuss. Rheinl. Verhandlungen des naturhistorischen Vereins der 

preussischen Rheinlande, Westfalens und des Regierungs-Bezirks Osnabriick. 

Verh. russ.-k. min. Gesellsch. Verhandlungen der russisch-kaiserlichen mineral ogisc hen 

Gesellschaft. St. Petersburg. 
Zeit. angew. Chem. Zeitschrift fur angewandte Chemie. Leipzig. 
Zeit. anorg. Chem. Zeitschrift fur anorganische Chemie. Hamburg and Leipzig. 
Zeit. deutsch. geol. Gesellsch. Zeitschrift der deutschen geologischen gesellschaft. Berlii:. 
Zeit. Berg-, Hiitt.- u. Salinenw. Zeitschrift fiir das Berg-, Hiitten- und Salinenwesen im 

preussischen Staate. Berlin. 
Zeit. fiir Knjst. Zeitschrift fiir Krystallographie und Mineralogie. Leipzig. 
Zeit. fiir praht. Geol. Zeitschrift fiir praktische Geologic Berlin. 


Part I. 

The General Relations of Auriferous Deposits. 

Introductory. Condition of the Interior of the Earth, Fissures in 

the Zone of Fracture, Source of Underground Waters, 
Circulation of Underground Waters, Filling of Fissures, 
Secondary Enrichment 1 

Physical and Chemical Characters of Gold. Native Gold, Pure Gold ; 
Native Alloys of Gold : Electrum, Maldonite, Rhodite, 
Porpezite, Amalgam 13 

Compounds of Gold. Tellurides of Gold : Calaverite, Sylvanite, 
Mullerine, Krennerite, Hessite, Nagyagite ; Sulphides of 
Gold, Selenide of Gold, Chloride of Gold, Silicate of Gold, 
Colloidal Gold, Ionised Gold 27 

Classification of Auriferous Deposits. Auriferous Provinces 42 

Primary Deposits. Archaean Group : India, Western Australia, 

South Africa, Appalachian Fields, South Dakota, Brazil . . 47 

Pre-Cambrian Group : India, Western Australia, South 

Africa, North America, South America 54 

Tertiary Andesitic Group : North America, Mexico, New 

Zealand, Hungary 59 

Granodioritic Group : Western North America, Eastern 

Australia, Urals, Other Fields 67 

General Considerations 76 

Secondary Deposits. Due to Chemical Action at Depth, Due to 

Chemical Action at the Earth's Surface 78 

Arising from Mechanical Action ; Placers, Beach Sands, Deep 
Leads ; Range in Geological Time of Placers, Witwaters- 
rand, South Dakota, Western Australia 86 

Source and Transport of Gold. Source of Gold, Transport of Gold, 

Dispersion of Gold in Nature 100 

Deposition and Concentration of Gold. Precipitants of Gold, Con- 
centration of Gold in Nature, Secondary Enrichment, 
Shoots 108 


Part II. 

The Geographical Distribution of Gold. 

Europe. England, Wales, Scotland, Ireland, Portugal, Spain. 

France, Switzerland, Italy, Servia, Turkey, Greece, Rou- 

mania, Austria-Hungary, Germany, Norway, Sweden, 

Russia 119 

Asia. Siberia, Asia Minor, Arabia, Persia, Baluchistan, Afghanis- 
tan, Tibet, Eastern Turkestan, India, Ceylon, Burma, 
China, Manchuria, Korea, Japan, Formosa, French Indo- 
China, Siam, Federated Malay States 210 

East Indian Archipelago and Polynesia. Philippine Islands, Borneo, 

Dutch East Indies, New Guinea, New Caledonia, Fiji 290 

Australasia. New Zealand ; Australia : Queensland, New South 
Wales, Victoria, Tasmania, South Australia, Northern 
Territory, Western Australia 305 

Africa. Morocco, Algeria, Tunis, Tripoli, Egypt, British Sudan, 
Eritrea, Abyssinia, Italian Somaliland, British Somaliland, 
French Guinea, Liberia, Ivory Coast, Gold Coast, Togoland, 
Cameroons (Kamerun), French Congo, Angola, Congo Free 
State, British East Africa, Uganda Protectorate, German 
East Africa, Nyassaland Protectorate, Madagascar, Portu- 
guese East Africa, Rhodesia, Bechuanaland Protectorate, 
Transvaal, Natal, German South-West Africa, Cape Colony 407 

North America. Newfoundland ; Canada : Nova Scotia, New 
Brunswick, Quebec, Ontario, British Columbia, Yukon 
Territory ; United States of America : Alaska, Washington, 
Oregon, Calif ornia, Idaho, Nevada, Arizona, Colorado, Utah, 
Texas, New Mexico, Montana, Wyoming, South Dakota, 
Minnesota, Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, New York, 
Maryland, Virginia, Southern Appalachian States 458 

Central America and West Indies. Mexico, Guatemala, British 
Honduras, Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, 
Panama, Cuba, Haiti, Jamaica, Dutch West Indies 597 

South America. Colombia, Ecuador, Bolivia, Peru, Venezuela, 
British Guiana, Dutch Guiana, French Guiana, Brazil. 
Uruguay, Argentina, Chile 619 

Index to Subjects 665 

Geographical Index 669 

Index to Authors cited 685 



Crystallized Gold The Latrobe Nugget Frontispiece 

I. Crystallized Gold 22 

II. Polished and Etched Sections of Gold Nugget 84 

III. British Auriferous Localities 136 

IV. Val de Challant and Val d'Anzasca, Piedmont, Italy 154 
V. Placers of the Imperial Cabinet.. Chilka River, Siberia 220 

VI. Panoramic View of Kolar Goldfield, India 250 

VII. Dharwar Schists, Sangli ; Ancient Rock Mortars and 

Grinding Stones, Sangli, India 256 

VIII. Coromandel, New Zealand 308 

IX. Open-Cut, Waihi Lode, New Zealand ; Humphre}^ 

Gully Beds, Westland, New Zealand 318 

X. Gold-dredging Rivers, New Zealand 322 

XL Charters Towers, Queensland 330 

XII. Mount Morgan, Queensland 336 

XIII. Anticlinal Fold, Castlemaine, Victoria ; Arltunga 

Goldfield, Central Australia 372 

XIV. Kalgoorlie, Western Australia 404 

XV. Views of Auriferous Region, Egyptian Desert 408 

XVI. Ancient Egyptian Quartz-crushing Mills 412 

XVII. Ashanti Goldfields Mines, West Africa; Sheba Gold 

Mines, Barberton, Transvaal 422 

XVIII. Auriferous Series, Rhodesia (Giant Mines of Rhodesia) 430 

XIX. Auriferous Series, Rhodesia (Globe and Phoenix Mine) 434 

XX. Geological Map of the Southern Transvaal 440 

XXI. Johannesburg from the North 446 

XXII. Penhalonga Gold Mines, Umtali Goldfield, Rhodesia ; 

Glynn's Lydenburg Mine, Transvaal 450 

XXIII. Theta Reef, Clewer Mine, Pilgrim's Rest, Transvaal . . 452 

XXIV. Mill Creek, Frankfort, Transvaal 454 

XXV. Williams Creek, Cariboo ; Hydraulic Sluicing, 

Cunningham Creek, Cariboo 474 

XXVI. 1,500 feet Level, Maryland Vein, Grass Valley, 

California; Vein Quartz, De Lamar Mine, Idaho 508 















Trade Dollar Mine, Florida Mountain ; De Lamar 

Mine and Mill, South Dakota 518 

Tonapah and Neighbourhood 530 

Bull Hill, from Squaw Mount ; Cripple Creek from 

Gold Hill, Cripple Creek, Colorado 548 

Bassick Hill and Mount Tyndall ; Silverton, 

Colorado 554 

Ophir Pass and Potosi Peak, near Telluride, Colorado 556 

The Camp Bird Mine, Ouray, Colorado 558 

Diabase Dykes and Ore-bodies, Haile Mine, South 

Carolina 592 

Panoramic View of El Oro, Mexico 606 

Cana, Darien ; Porce Valley, Antioquia, Colombia 614 
Santa Isabel Mine, Colombia ; Portovelo Mine, 

Zaruma, Ecuador 624 

Auriferous Aplite Dyke, and General View, Omai, 

British Guiana 638 

Panoramic View of Morro Velho Mine, Minas 

Geraes, Brazil 652 



1- 6 Simple Forms of Gold Crystals 14 

7-12 Forms of Crystallized Gold 15 

13-23 Do. do. do 16 

24-34 Do. do. do 17 

35 Filamentary Gold, Caledonian Mine, New Zealand 18 

36-38 Incipient Crystallization of Gold, Verespatak 19 

39-45 Forms of Crystallized Gold 20 

46-48 Crystallized Gold, Coromandel, New Zealand 21 

49-57 Sylvanite from Nagyag and Offenbanya 30 

58-61 Krennerite from Nagyag and Cripple Creek 33 

62-63 Hessite from Botes, Hungary 34 

64 Nagyagite 36 

65 Sketch Map of the World, showing Distribution of the 

Principal Auriferous Provinces 46 

66 Shoot of Gold at Intersection of Quartz Vein and Indicator, 

Ballarat 73 

67 Gravels Deposited by a Meandering River 89 

68 Ideal Section of Ancient Deep Leads 93 

69 Thin Section showing Free Gold in Diorite from Mashona- 

land 101 

70-71 Sections showing Relations of Gold, Telluride-ore, and 

Quartz 109 

72 Auriferous Localities in Great Britain and Ireland 120 

73 Geology of Auriferous Area of .the Mawddach Valley, 

North Wales 125 

74 Cross-section of La Gardette Lode, Isere Dep 149 

75 Auriferous Occurrences of Piedmont, Italy 153 

76 Generalised Sketch Map of the Geology of the Transyl- 

vanian Auriferous Region 170 

77-8 Sections through Botesiu and Vulkoj 175 

79 Ideal Cross-section through Nagyag Mountains 177 

80 Glauch Veins, Nagyag 178 

81 Enrichment at Junction of Veins, Nagyag 179 

82 Glauch Veins, Valea Mori 184 



83 Geological Sketch Map of the " Twelve Apostles " Mine, 

Ruda, Transylvania 185 

84 Geological Sketch Map of the Southern Urals 200 

85 Geological Sketch Map of the Neighbourhood of Ekaterin- 

burg 201 

86 Plan of Veinlets in Beresite Dykes, Berezovsk 202 

87 Geological Sketch Map of the Neighbourhood of Miassk . . 205 

88 Geological Sketch Map of Auriferous Area, Bokhara 212 

89 Sketch Map of Tibet 232 

90 Dharwar Schist Bands in Southern India 243 

91 Geological Sketch Map of the Kolar Field, India 252 

92 " Rolls " in Champion Reef, Kolar, India 253 

93 Workings, Pitch of Shoots, and Basic Dykes, Mysore Mine 254 

94 Geology of the Gadag Mines, India 257 

95 Sketch Map of Burma 264 

96 Ore-Shoots in Aplitic Dyke, Weihaiwei 272 

97 Geological Map of Thames Goldfield, New Zealand 310 

98 Geological Sketch Map of Waihi Mine 313 

99 Vertical Cross-section through Martha Hill 314 

100 Cross-section, Waihi Mine, showing " Blind " Lodes 315 

101-2 Section and Plan of Blue Spur Gravels, Otago 322 

103 Geological Sketch Map of Charters Towers Goldfield 330 

104 Geological Sketch Map of Mount Morgan Mine 334 

105 Geological Sketch Plan of Gympie Goldfield 338 

106 Part of Section across Gympie Goldfield 339 

107 Auriferous Lead under Desert Sandstone, Mount Brown . . 343 

108 Vertical Section through Deep Lead, Kiandra 345 

109 Geological Map of Hillgrove Goldfield 347 

110-6 Plan and Sections of Mount Boppy Syncline 348 

117 Section through Big Nugget Hill, Hargraves 351 

118 Plan of Lucknow Goldfield 352 

119 Details of Occurrence of Ore-bodies, Lucknow 353 

120 Sketch Section of Yalwal Goldfield 357 

121-2 Plan and Section of Reef, Panbula Goldfield 358 

123 Auriferous Quartz " Floors " in Morning Star Dyke, 

Wood's Point 362 

124 Sketch Plan of Ballarat Field 363 

125 Vertical Section of Indicator, Ballarat 365 

126 Vertical Section of Metropolitan Lode, Ballarat 366 

127 Ideal Section showing Main Reef Lines, Bendigo 367 

128 True Saddle Reef, Bendigo 368 



129 False Saddle Reef, Bendigo 369 

130 Cross-section through Lazarus Mine, Bendigo 370 

131 Section of Eastern Portion, Castlemaine Goldfield 372 

132 The Loddon, Avoca, and Ballarat Deep Leads 374 

133-4 Sections of Victorian Deep Leads 376 

135-6 Geological Plan and Section of Tasmania Lode, Beacons- 
field 380 

137 Section through New Golden Gate Mine, Mathinna 382 

138 Sketch Map of Geology of Mount Lyell 383 

139 Geological Sketch Map of Kalgoorlie 402 

140 Ore-bodies in Schisted Band, Lake View Consols 403 

141 Great Boulder Main Lode, Kalgoorlie 404 

142 Ancient Egyptian Mining Map. 1300 b.c 409 

143 Geological Sketch Map of Northern Atbai Desert 411 

144 Geology of Manicaland Auriferous Area 428 

145 Geology of the Witwatersrand, near Johannesburg 442 

1 46 Section through Syncline, Witwatersrand Beds 444 

147 Section showing Faulting of Main Reef 445 

148 Enrichment, Zwartkopje Mine, Barberton 449 

149 Diagrammatic Section across the Central Lydenburg 

District 452 

150 Distribution of Auriferous Series, Nova Scotia 460 

151 Diagrammatic Section across Auriferous Rocks, Nova 

Scotia 462 

152 Roll in Nigger Vein, Tangier 463 

153 Crenulated Quartz Vein, Moose River District 464 

154 Section through Lightning Creek, Cariboo 474 

155 Sketch Map showing Geology in the Vicinity of Klondike . . 481 

156-7 Ideal Sections across Bonanza Valley 485 

158-9 Geological Plan of and Section through Juneau, Alaska . . 497 

160 Section across Mother Lode at Quartz Mount 505 

161 Plan of Mother Lode, near Coulterville 506 

162 Geological Map of Grass Valley and Nevada City, California 507 

163 Cross-section of Maryland Vein above 1,500ft. level 508 

164 Auriferous Gravel buried beneath Lava, Forest Hill Divide, 

American River 510 

165 Plan of Blue Lead near Mokelumne Hill 511 

166 Cross-section East from Mokelumne River, showing 

Ancient River Channels 512 

167 Geology of De Lamar Mine and Vicinity, Idaho 517 



168 Section through De Lamar Vein System 518 

169 Geological Map of Neighbourhood of the Comstock Lode, 

Nevada 521 

170 Formation of Bonanzas in Hanging Wall, Comstock Lode . . 523 

171 Geological Map of Tonopah Goldfield 527 

172 Sketch showing Masking of Auriferous Veins, Tonopah .... 528 

173 Ideal Section across Tonopah Rocks 529 

174 Geological Map of Goldfield, Nevada 531 

175 Geological Map of Ruby Hill, Eureka, Nevada 534 

176 Cross-section in Phoenix Mine, Eureka 535 

177 Section through Florence Mine, Leadville 541 

178 Geological Map of Bassick Hill, Colorado 542 

179 Geological Section through Bassick Mine 543 

180 Cross-section through Ore-body of Bassick Mine 544 

181 Cross-section of Bull-Domingo Chimney 544 

182 Geological Map of the Cripple Creek Goldfield, Colorado. . 547 

183 Sections in North Star Mine, Cripple Creek 548 

184 Ore-streaks in Andesite-Breccia, Cripple Creek 549 

185 Sheeting in Breccia, Portland Mine, Cripple Creek 550 

186 Impregnations along Parallel Fractures, Cripple Creek ... . 551 

187 Stereogram of Ore-shoot on the Pinto Dyke and Pharmacist 

Vein, Cripple Creek 552 

188 Section through Stratton's Independence Mine, showing 

Granite-Breccia Contact 553 

189 Geology of Camp Bird and Neighbourhood 555 

189a Vein-quartz, Camp Bird Mine 556 

190 Geology of Telluride and Vicinity 558 

191 Diagrammatic Section through Enterprise Blanket, Rico. . 559 

192 Section through Gold and Silver Ledge, Mercur, Utah. . . . 564 

193 Ore-deposit at Contact of Porphyry and Limestone, 

Maginnis Mine, Montana 573 

194 Geological Map of the Southern Black Hills, South Dakota 577 

195 Geological Map of Neighbourhood of Lead City, South 

Dakota 579 

196 Star- Old Abe Section, Homestake Mine 580 

197 Section through Hawkeye-Pluma Mine 581 

198 Geological Section from Homestake Mine Eastward 582 

199-200 Sections showing Siliceous Ore-shoots in Dolomite, 

Black Hills 582 

201 Diagrammatic Section across Lockhart Vein, Dahlonega . . 590 



202 Sketch Map showing Principal Ore-bodies, Haile Mine 592 

203 Vertical Section of the Beguelin Ore-body, Haile Mine .... 593 

204 Ideal Section through Pinitos Range, Magdalena District, 

Sonora 601 

205 Guadalupe y Calvo 602 

206 Geological Section of the Lluvia de Oro District 604 

207 Longitudinal Section, El Oro Mine 607 

208 Section of the Espritu Santo Mine, Cana 614 

209 Section through the Quinua Mine 631 

210 Map of Auriferous Portion of Minas Geraes Province, 

Brazil 647 

211 Section through Ouro Preto Mountain 648 

212 Section through Passagem Mine 648 

213 Plan of Passagem Mine 651 




The General Relations of Auriferous Deposits. 


Before entering on the discussion of the subject proper, it 
will be necessary to outline certain fundamental premises of belief, 
and incidentally to demand certain postulates that have, from 
unchallenged reiteration, assumed more or less axiomatic force 
but which are. none the less, mere assumptions. Than the logical 
instability of the broad hypotheses upon which the philosophical 
literature relating to ore-deposits is based, no one feature is brought 
more prominently into relief by a close examination of the subject, 
and it cannot therefore be expected that the special section hereafter 
to be treated will be free from the stigma of speculation that attaches 
to the whole. Frequently in the history of the study of the genesis 
of ore-deposits have hypotheses based upon isolated reactions in 
the laboratory, or upon imperfectly correlated observations in the 
field, failed in their broader application ; and though it is certain 
that, with increase of chemical knowledge, and by the multiplication 
of observations from which the personal factor is almost totally 
eliminated, there will, in course of time, .be evolved a theory which 
must approximate very closely to the truth, yet it is equally certain 
that the speculative element which now bulks so largely in problems 
of this nature will never be entirely absent, so long as man is unable 
to reproduce at will the widely varying conditions, or to regulate 
the many interdependent reactions, attendant on the natural 
deposition of ores. 

Condition of the Interior of the Earth. In the first place, 
some space must be given to the consideration of the pro- 
bable condition of that portion of the earth's bulk which 
is not available for direct observation. It is unnecessary at the 


present moment to closely examine the various theories put forward 
from time to time as explanatory of the observed phenomena, but 
it seems clear that all hypotheses regarding the condition of the 
earth's interior must be based on three main premises : 

(a) That while the mean density of the thin outer shell accessible 

to our observation is only 25, the density of the earth 
as a whole is 5 6 ; 

(b) That the earth is a rigid body, certainly as rigid as a sphere 

of glass ; and 

(c) That the earth's interior is very highly heated. 

And though the last is at best only an inference, yet from analogy 
with other celestial bodies, and from other considerations, there seems 
no possible reason for refusing to admit it as a fundamental premise. 

Taking the diameter of the earth as 8,000 miles, and assuming 
the simplest rate of increase of density, viz., an increase directly 
proportional to the depth, we find from mathematical considerations 
that the zone of mean density (5-5) will be reached at a depth of 
about 1,000 miles, and that the density at the centre may be 
estimated at 14-5. With other rates of regular progression, the 
zone of mean density will be passed at much greater depths. From 
considerations of temperature and pressure, it may reasonably be 
concluded that the earth from its surface to its centre may be 
divided into three zones : 

(a) A crust solid to a depth of, say, 25 miles. 

(b) A liquid magma highly heated and under great pressure, 

extending to a depth of, say, 200 miles. 

(c) A gaseous magma extending to the centre, the high viscosity 

and relative incompressibility of the magma rendering 
the whole as rigid as steel. 

Of the last-mentioned sphere nothing may here be said. It lies 
even beyond the domain of geological speculation, and its problems 
may be attacked only by the physicist. Its outer portion merges 
gradually into the liquid magma, not through successive concentric 
shells of substances that have reached their critical temperatures, 
but rather through an irregular and indefinite mixture of gaseous 
and liquid constituents. The junction between the centrosphere 
(the barysphere of Posepny, or the geite of Milne) and the liquid 
magma is placed at about 200 miles, on the assumption that the 
rate of increase of temperature at great depths is identical with 
that observed at the surface an assumption for or against which 
few arguments can be urged. 


Between the liquid magma and the solid crust there must 
likewise lie a zone of transition, in which some of the mineral 
constituents have already commenced to separate out from the 
parent magma. It is not probable that the boundary between 
the solid crust and the liquid magma is more than rudely spherical 
in form, for the thickness of the solid crust must vary considerably ; 
its lower limit approaching, in regions of extensive vulcanicity, much 
closer to the earth's surface than is elsewhere the case. From this 
boundary outwards the probable condition of the "' crust " must 
be dealt with in detail, for it is in this outer 25 miles of the earth's 
mass, and in this alone, that the essential operations of ore-deposition 
take place. If this be granted, and there seems every reason to 
consider the postulate at least justifiable, it follows then that, in 
dealing with the problems afforded by ore-deposits, the whole zone 
so dealt with may be considered to be precisely similar in physical 
character and in chemical composition to that with which we are more 
immediately conversant. For since it has already been assumed 
that the rise in density with increasing depth from the earth's 
surface is, in all probability, regular, and at 1,000 miles this is only 
from 2-5 to 5-5, then at the comparatively insignificant depth of 25 
miles the increase in density or the change in chemical combination 
is negligible. 

Following Van Hise" in principle, two main divisions of the 
solid crust may be recognised, according to the manner in which 
the rocks of each division adapt themselves to the varying stresses 
induced by the movements of the crust : 

(a) Zone of no wage : This is the zone immediately above the 
liquid magma ; here the rocks yield to stress by differential move- 
ments of the individual particles, each accommodating itself to 
the strain by a fresh disposition of its dimensions with respect to 
those of its neighbours. Small though the individual movement 
may be at any time, the aggregate result is stupendous ; its degree 
is occasionally revealed to us by time and consequent denudation. 
Since the pressure in this zone is enormous, -it follows that no fissure 
can exist, for the mass must be supposed to be sufficiently plastic 
to flow, and so to close any fissure formed in the not improbable 
event of a sudden shock, as of a movement in the crust above, 
momentarily overcoming the cohesion of the rock. We have here 
in the upper portions of the zone, as Van Hise justly points out, 
the fissures of the overlying zone of fracture gradually becoming 
narrower, and at length dying out in depth. 

a " Principles of North American Pre-Cambrian Geology," 16th Ann. Rep. U.S. 
Geol. Surv., 1894-5, Pt. I. pp. 598 et seq. ; " Metamorphism of Rocks and Rock Flowage, 1 ' 
Bull. Geol. Soc. Amer., IX, 1898, pp. 295-313, 318-326; "Some Principles controlling 
the Deposition of Ores," Trans. Amer. Inst. M.E., XXX, 1901, p. 45. 


(b) Zone of fracture : This zone lies along the outer solid portion 
of the lithosphere. Its depth must be extremely variable, its lower 
surface lying approximately parallel to the boundary of the liquid 
magma and ranging from near the surface in regions of extensive 
and active vulcanicity, to considerable depths in regions of long 
continued sedimentation. Of the average depth of the zone it is 
impossible to say much. It is possibly more than eight, but is 
probably less than ten miles. In this zone, as the name signifies, 
the solid rocks adapt themselves to stress by fracturing along lines 
of weakness, thus producing in the strata the manifold varia- 
tions observable at the surface, for even in the case of folded rocks, 
the convolutions are generally produced by the formation of numer- 
ous minute parallel faults. A limited acquaintance with mining 
operations is generally quite sufficient to demonstrate the almost 
universal prevalence of larger faults. 

Van Hise raises the transition rocks between these two zones 
to the dignity of a third zone ; but inasmuch as, from the very 
nature of the change, there cannot be found any salient feature 
by which the transition belt may be designated, and since it can 
be described only by more or less negative terms, the general 
statement is here given its simplest expression. 

Fissures in the Zone of Fracture. A fissure may in all cases 
be regarded as evidence of release from past strain, and since 
stresses may be of indefinite force, act through indefinite 
time, and through indefinite space, and on rocks varying 
greatly in composition, texture, hardness, and toughness, 
we may expect to find, and do find, fissures of almost infinite 
variety. Further, since these fissures in the zone of fracture 
become the water channels of the surface rocks, and since percolating 
waters and their dissolved salts act with more or less effect purely 
solvent or metasomatic as the case may be on the walls of the 
fissures, the form of these and the nature and composition of 
the walls two of the features which have been relied on as 
classificatory become greatly modified if not completely changed. 
It will therefore be apparent that any genetic classification and none 
other is scientific of these fissures (as distinguished, of course, from 
the veins which are afterwards formed in them) is impossible. 

Classification of Ore Deposits. Classifications of ore-bodies 
based on the form of the filled fissure were those of Whitney, a 
of Pumpelly, 6 of J. A. Phillips, of Louis,** and of others. As 

a " Geol. Surv. of the Mississippi Lead Region," Albany, 1868, p. '224. 
b " Geol. and Mining Industry of Leadville," Washington, 1886, p. 373. 
c "Treatise on Ore Deposits," London, 18S6, p. 3. 

^"Treatise on Ore Deposits" by J. A. Phillips, revised by H. Louis, 2nd Ed., 
London, 1896, p. 10. 


may be readily seen, the distinction between " fissure," ' bedded," 
l ' contact," and " gash ' veins, ' stockworks," and " massive ' 
deposits is merely one of degree of complication, or of 
chance environment, and is in no wise related to the 
genesis of the original space in which the deposits are now 
found. F. Posepny" appears to have been one of the first 
to clearly recognise this fact, for he, followed afterwards by Monroe 
and Kemp/' suggested a more or less genetic classification, dividing 
all ore-deposits into those formed in ; ' spaces of discission " and 
those formed in " spaces of dissolution." The differentiation here, 
however, is not real, for it is not possible to conceive of a " space 
of dissolution ' in a soluble rock that had not its origin and its 
general direction determined by a rock fracture, however small. 
Since, therefore, it must be admitted that the form of a fissure 
may be modified indefinitely by percolating waters, it follows that 
'' spaces of dissolution," when considered genetically, cannot be 
separated from " spaces of discission." A better classification, 
and certainly at first sight a more scientific, is that of Waldemar 
Lindgren. c Here, fissure-veins, which are, in effect, any form of a 
mineral mass filling a fissure, are classified according to the dis- 
tinctive metasomatic processes that have taken place within the 
fissure. From a genetic point of view, the weakness of the classifi- 
cation lies in the fact that the same waters may, and certainly do, 
produce different results in different rocks. Owing, however, to the 
general insusceptibility of gold to the solvent action of the percolating 
waters that so readily affect the country walls, and to the fact that 
the gangue of an auriferous vein is most often quartz, a mineral 
even less susceptible to these solutions than gold, the classification 
based on metasomatic changes loses much of its value when applied 
to auriferous veins. Indeed, our knowledge of the processes of 
auriferous deposition is much too scanty to admit of close and 
particular classifications, which, being based largely upon assump- 
tions presented in the guise of fact, are, by obscuring the real issues, 
harmful rather than beneficial. Form, position and associates (the 
last in qualified degree) are most unreliable classificatory factors, 
and yet they have formed the basis of most classifications hitherto 
presented. The weakness of systems dependent on the two first- 
named has already been indicated, and it will be shown later that 
the ions of gold are so loosely balanced that the introduction of 
almost any foreign vagrant ion will be followed by the aggregation 
and deposition of the gold. This treatise is therefore largely a plea 
for a franker confession than is usual of ignorance of the conditions 

a Trans. Amer. Inst. M.E., XXIII. p. 197. 

b " The Ore Deposits of the United States," New York, 1893, p. 52. 
c Trans. Amer. Inst. M.E., Vol XXX, p. 578. 


of auriferous deposition, and for the adoption of a classification 
that, while as narrow as possible, is yet no narrower than is justified 
by our actual knowledge. The presence of fluorite in the gold- 
telluride deposits of Cripple Creek has caused Lindgren," 
to create a separate division of " Fluorite-go Id -tellurium 
veins," and yet there is nothing either in the present writer's 
examination of that region or in the literature of those deposits 
to show that the presence of fluorite is not purely adventitious, 
that it has had any effect whatever upon the deposition of the 
gold, or that it was in any way originally in genetic connection. On 
the other hand, it will be shown later that Tertiary andesites of 
the character of those of Cripple Creek furnish, in many parts of 
the world, veins and auriferous associates (with the exception of 
fluorite) similar to those of Cripple Creek, and this relation has 
therefore been selected as the narrowest to which, in the given 
instance, classificatory value may be attached. 

Source of Metallic Ores. An ore-body is in nearly every 
case the result of long continued concentration, generally in a fissure 
or permeable belt in the zone of fracture. Ore-bodies may occur 
in igneous or in sedimentary rocks ; but, however occurring, the 
primary source of the metallic ore is to be looked for in igneous 
magmas, through which the heavy metals have once been diffused, 
and from which they have been separated : (a) by magmatic 
differentiation, (6) by the leaching action of percolating solutions, 
or (c) by the mechanical separation effected by running water 
during the process of denudation. Analytical research by 
many chemists b has shown that nearly all the common 
metals, including gold, are to be found in the igneous 
rocks, both plutonic and volcanic. Harrison, for example, 
examining the igneous and metamorphic rocks of British 
Guiana, found that of 29 rocks selected, only one was free from 
traces of gold. The maximum quantity of gold obtained was 
43 grains per ton ; the mean was 6 5 grains. While in many of the 
cases above cited it is possible, and in some cases probable, that 
the metallic content was introduced by wandering solutions after 
the consolidation of the magma, there yet remains sufficient evidence 
to fully justify the assumption that the great bulk of the metals 
of the crust was brought within reach of percolating meteoric waters 
or of denuding agents by inclusion within upward-moving magmas 

" Trans. Amer. Inst. M.E., XXX, 1900, p. 578, et seq. 

'' Fore h hammer, Pogg. Annal., XCV, p. 60 ; Sandberger, " Untersuchungen iiber 
Erzgange," Wiesbaden, 1885 ; Becker, Mon. U.S. Geol. Surv., Ill, 1882, p. 223; Idem, 
op. cit., XIII. 1S88. P . 350; Curtis, op. cit.. VII, 1884, p. 80; Robertson, Bull. Missouri 
Geol. Surv., VII, 1894, p. 479 ; Harrison, Rep. Mines Dep. Brit, Guiana, 1905 ; Dieula- 
fait, Ann. chim. physiq., XVIII, 1879, p. 349 ; and by many others. 


of certainly much greater density than those highly aqueous 
solutions which may, with reason, be deemed to form a 
portion of the more tenuous end-products of magmatic 
differentiation. Of the nature of the combination of the metals 
or, indeed of their associates or hosts within the magmatic mass, 
nothing may be said. It seems reasonable to assume that authigenic 
metallic ores will be found with the ferro-magnesian silicates or 
with the heavy oxides (magnetite, rutile, &c), for it still remains 
doubtful whether metallic sulphide minerals may be regarded as 
original in igneous rocks. In the majority of investi- 
gated cases metallic sulphides have certainly been intro- 
duced subsequently to the consolidation of the rocks in which 
they are found, and, notwithstanding the mass of evidence adduced, 
for example, for the magmatic hypothesis of origin of the Sudbury 
sulphide-ores," there are many authorities b who have ascribed 
the concentration of sulphide-ores found in that place and elsewhere 
to deposition from circulating aqueous solutions. In whatever form 
the heavy metals may be combined, their percentage of the total 
magmatic mass is always far too small to constitute an ore. Iron 
alone occurs in any quantity, its average percentage in igneous 
masses being estimated at 4-46 only. c Before the heavy metals can 
be aggregated in sufficient quantities to be termed ore-bodies, they 
must be leached or washed from their matrix of igneous rock and 
re-deposited in concentrated form. Assuming for the moment 
that magmatic differentiation is of dubious efficiency in the 
concentration of ores, the universal agent of solution and concen- 
tration is therefore the water that is always in motion in the 
fissures and crevices of the solid crust. Except in the case of 
beach iron-sands, mechanical concentration by running or moving 
waters plays little part in the formation of ore-bodies from 
consolidated igneous rocks. 

Source of Underground Waters. Two, and only two, 
sources of the waters which traverse the fi'ssures of the earth's crust 
are possible, viz., (a) magmatic, and (b) meteoric waters. 

Observers who have noted the vast quantities of steam 
accompanying many volcanic eruptions have not hesitated to claim 
for the liberated water vapours an origin authigenic with that of 
the lavas from which they have emanated, a view that of recent 
years has met with very wide acceptance among Continental and 
American geologists. The arguments for this view have been 

a Walker, Q.J.G.S., LIII, 1897. p. 40; Coleman, Rep. Ontario Bureau Mines, 
1905, Pt, III ; Barlow, Econ. Geol., I, 1906, p. 454. 

b Campbell (W.) and Knight, Eng. Min. Jour., LXXXII, 1906, p. 909; Dickson, 
Jour. Can. Min. Inst., IX, 1906, p. 239, and others. 

c Clarke, Bull. U.S. Geol. Surv., No. 330, 1908, p. 26. 


especially well presented by Professor J. F. Kemp." Much stress 
is laid in his argument on the fact that the zones of deep mining 
operations show the rocks to be comparatively dry. It is perfectly 
true that the great majority of mines are drier, or at least are no 
wetter, in depth than near the surface, and many more instances 
than those cited by Professor Kemp may be adduced, but it may 
not therefore be assumed that all strata of the depths quoted 
2,000 to 5,000 feet present the like phenomenon. The deeper 
mines of Charters Towers, Queensland, in granite and tonalite, 
are so dry at depths of 2,000 to 2,600 feet that water for drilling 
and other mining purposes is sent from the surface, yet in the same 
State, an artesian well in sedimentary strata is yielding 200.000 
gallons water per diem from a depth of 5,045 feet, and some wells, 
from depths of over 4,000 feet, have outflows of 1,000,000 gallons 
and more daily. Again, while a mine may be " dry " in the miner's 
sense, or may even be dusty, its rocks may yet contain water. In 
many cases, a little water is tapped in sinking, representing perhaps 
the accumulation of years, and that no more is subsequently 
observed is due to the fact that the total amount furnished by the 
rock fissures is dissipated by evaporation. Too little regard has 
been paid to the probability of the chief work in underground 
fissures having been performed, not by great flows of w T ater circulating 
with that rapidity which implies pumping when met with in mines, 
but rather by bodies of water standing in closely-confined spaces 
and moving with almost inconceivable slowness. But, in any 
case, the present deficiency of waters in a fissure has no bearing 
whatever on the origin of the gangue or metalliferous contents, 
and is indeed as little an argument in favour of an origin from 
magmatic as from meteoric waters : a quartz-vein merely indicates 
that at the period of its formation underground waters were circu- 
lating. The supply of siliceous and metalliferous waters may have 
subsequently been cut off, or, by the very act of deposition, the 
channels may have been closed, in either case giving the dry 
fissure or closed vein now met with. While not denying the 
possibility, or even the probability, of the derivation of a certain 
proportion of the stock of underground waters from a magmatic 
source, the present writer is inclined to ascribe to meteoric waters 
nearly all metalliferous deposits of economic importance ; this 
premise is regarded as fundamental in the speculations that are 
subsequently offered. The magmatic origin claimed by Suess, Weed, 
and others, for the waters of most geysers and hot springs can 
certainly not be granted, for it has been shown h that the great 

" Trans. Amer. Inst. M.E.. XXXI, 19(12, pp. 169- IDS. 
Htaclaren, Geol. Mag., Dec. V, III, 190G, p. 511. 


Waimangu geyser, in the Hot Lakes region of New Zealand, 
depended for its water supply on a superficial source ; viz., on the 
waters of an adjacent lake. 

Circulation of Underground Waters. The motive power 
inducing the circulation of meteoric water is primarily gravity, 
which is greatly assisted in its work by the expansion of waters due 
to the high temperatures encountered in depth. This deep circu- 
lation has been compared to that in the pipes of a hot-water 
system in a house, but though the simile may give the simplest 
expression to the idea, the actual circulation must, in fact, be 
extremely complicated, both ascending and descending currents 
receiving contributions from sources far removed from each other, 
and dividing often to travel along planes differing widely in direction 
and in extent. At great depths and under the pressure obtaining 
at those depths, much of the transference of water is probably 
effected through capillary openings, which may broadly be defined 
as those lesf, than -508 mm., if circular, and -254 mm. if tabular, 
and greater than -0002 and -0001 mm. respectively/' In any case 
the rate of percolation at great depths must be exceedingly slow. 
Since the whole case for the assumption of a deep underground 
circulation of meteoric waters rests on hypothesis, the inferior limit 
to which meteoric waters may reach cannot be indicated with any 
approach to accuracy, but it may reasonably be assumed to extend 
the whole depth of the zone of fracture. 

A clear distinction must however be drawn between the 
deep underground circulation above referred to and that shallow 
surface circulation which is indicated by springs and by the waters 
of perennial streams. The latter moves in a zone that is alternately 
wet and dry, or that is filled with surface waters moving towards 
the lowest drainage exit of the surrounding country. Ordinarily, 
the region of shallow surface circulation (the ' vadose ' region 
of Posepny) does not descend much below the normal drainage 
level, but in special cases, as in an artesian basin or in a region 
of springs owing their origin to conditions approximating to 
those necessary for an artesian system, or in arid desert regions 
that upon occasions receive a rain-fall, surface vadose waters 
may reach great depths. 

Filling of Fissures. It may be stated as a general law that 
increase in temperature or in pressure increases the solvent power 
of a liquid. It will therefore be apparent that as meteoric waters 
descend, their action on the metallic salts with which they come in 
contact is intensified pari passu with the depth to which they 

Slichter, 19th Ann. Rep. U.S. Geo!. Surv., Pt. II, p. 317. 


penetrate. The metallic salts on which they act may be those 
already deposited in the waterways, or may be those contained 
in the adjacent walls of "country," and the breadth of the water 
channel is here considered to be co-terminous with the extent of the 
lateral penetration of the circulating waters from the fissure. So 
much, therefore, of the original restricted lateral secretion theory 
may be admitted, viz., that percolating waters may gain their 
metallic contents from the rocks immediately contiguous to the 
fissures through which they are passing. That they must deposit 
ore in those fissures cannot, as was originally demanded, be generally 

In addition to the above supplies of metallic salts for vein- 
filling, there must be admitted another, viz., that yielded to meteoric 
waters by metalliferous vapours, potential or actual, which are 
assumed to be a possible result of magmatic differentiation. These 
vapours are generally, but not always, incorporated with the 
meteoric waters at great depths. Magmas may cool at comparatively 
shallow depths, and indeed, some, as we know, are so close to the 
surface that they are enabled to extrude a portion of their bulk, 
unattended by any seismic phenomena such as would indicate 
forcible expulsion from a considerable depth. It is these solutions 
containing uprising magmatic vapours that furnish the essence of 
the original ascension theory. 

These three sources of supply already-formed fissure 
deposits and metasomatic replacements of country, authigenic 
deposits in igneous rocks or in sediments, and magmatic 
vapours (in reality they are but one, for all have been 
derived primarily from igneous magmas) then, furnish the ores 
of metalliferous veins. To the last mentioned, the writer is 
inclined, as already stated, to grant a subordinate position, 
holding that, though in this case we are dealing with a vera causa, 
and though the igneous rocks are certainly to be considered as the 
primary source of the earth's accessible ores, yet the metallic 
content of the igneous rocks has been yielded after rather than 
before their consolidation, and, indeed, is the result of leaching 
by magmatic aqueous vapours or magmatic waters rather than 
of differentiation. No one source may, therefore, be postulated 
for any given ore in a fissure. We see that the component 
parts of a single crystal of a homogenous mineral may 
have been derived from a previously existent vein crystal, 
from a rolled fragment in a sedimentary rock, from an authigenic 
crystal in an igneous rock, and from vapours arising from magmatic 


Broadly speaking, the ores filling fissures (as distinguished from 
the gangue) may be divided into two great divisions, according to 
the chemical character of the water of transportation. Below 
the ground-, or permanent, water-level, where waters are hot 
and alkaline, sulphides and tellurides are deposited, and are charac- 
teristic of that zone. In the upper or vadose zone, waters are cold 
and acid, and sulphides and kindred salts are decomposed, with end- 
products of metals, oxides, certain silicates, and sulphates. These 
products, and especially the last mentioned, are not of necessity 
deposited in the vadose zone, but may under given conditions 
pass downwards to the ground-water level and there be re-precipi- 
tated as sulphides. The geological agent promoting this change is 
denudation, which, by locally lowering the earth's surface, slowly 
lowers the ground-water level, thus continually exposing the top 
of the sulphide zone to the play of oxidising waters. 

Secondary Enrichment. It has been seen that, within the 
mass of igneous rocks, metals are too widely diffused to furnish ores, 
at least of the heavier metals. Nor when the metals are leached out 
and deposited in the fissures of the deeper circulation are they generally 
in a state of sufficient aggregation to furnish ores. Exceptions to 
this rule do occur, and are far more numerous than would be 
supposed from a perusal of the recent literature of ore-deposits. 
Nevertheless, most ore-bodies, and certainly nearly all in the upper 
portions of vein-fissures or ore-channels , owe a large proportion of their 
economic value to repeated accretions of ore or to repeated subtractions 
of gangue. This phenomenon is termed "secondary enrichment" ; 
but the term is restricted in use to vein and other deposits 
in rock, and does not cover those concentrations resulting from the 
sorting action of running waters, as in the case of gold placers. 
Secondary enrichment may be positive or relative : it may result 
from the actual addition of metallic matter or from the removal 
of base matter, the total quantity of metal present being, in the 
latter case, unaffected. It may take place in the vadose zone or in 
the sulphide zone. In the former, relative enrichment is more common 
than in the latter. In the former also, growth by simple mass-action 
is prevalent. Thus metals, oxides, silicates, and sulphates are drawn 
from passing solutions and added to the already-deposited metal 
or salt. Enrichment below the ground-water level normally takes 
place by the reducing action of unaltered sulphide minerals on 
sulphate solutions moving downward from the vadose zone. There 
is thus formed at, or somewhat below, the ground-water level, 
a zone of sulphide enrichment, and as the ground-water level 
is continually being lowered, and the accumulated mineral of many 
hundred of feet of vein originally overlying is there being deposited 


and re-deposited, notable ore-bodies may result/' From the 
chemical analogies of the tellurides and sulphides, a similar hori- 
zontal zone of telluride enrichment may be expected in gold- 
telluride veins, and indeed is indicated by the mining experience 
gained in working the telluride ores of Kalgoorlie, Western Australia. 
The question of secondary enrichment being one of the highest 
importance in the consideration of auriferous deposits, further 
attention will be given to the subject in a later section. 

a Weed, Bull. Geol. Soc. Amer.,XI, 1899, p. 179; Idem. Trans. Amer. Inst. M.E., 
XXX, 1900, p. 424; XXXIII, 1903, p. 747; Emmons (S. F.), ib., p. 177. 

J 3 



Native Gold. Gold is very widely diffused in nature. It is 
found native in irregular masses, strings, scales, plates, and crystals, 
in quartz or sulphide veins, or as impregnations in the country 
adjacent to fissures. In alluvial gravels it occurs as scales, grains, 
slugs, and nuggets (pepites, Fr.). Regarded broadly, it rarely 
shows crystalline form, but where the conditions are favourable, 
as in cavities in the upper or vadose zones of fissures, or in loose 
permeable alluvial gravels, where expansion is not hindered by 
lack of space, and where the directive lines of growth are not deter- 
mined by the shape of a cavity, or by the concurrent growth of 
another mineral, as calcite or serpentine, gold obeys the natural 
laws of its crystal growth and crystallizes in various isometric 
(cubic) forms. The largest and most perfect crystals are always 
those derived from alluvial gravels, since there the growing crystal 
has apparently often been able to accrete with equal facility matter 
from all sides. Gold-crystals from placer deposits may attain a 
length of from U to 2 inches, in which cases they are nearly always 
octahedra. The most perfect crystals have been derived from 
the gravels of Victoria, Australia. Large crystals, especially when 
octahedral, often possess deeply recessed faces and salient edges, 
indicating either a comparatively high local concentration of gold in 
the surrounding solution, or, more probably, a rapid replenishment 
of its gold content at the time of growth (Fig. 7). Recessed faces 
further indicate the absence, in the immediate vicinity of the crystal, 
of solutions that have only just passed the point of saturation, 
since the normal Avork of these in crystal growth is to reduce the 
inequalities arising from irregularity in concentration or in supply 
of gold from solution. The concentration necessary to secure growth 
of gold-crystals does not prevail throughout the whole mass of 
solution in the gravel or in the vein-fissure, but is to be regarded as 
obtaining solely in the immediate neighbourhood of already 
deposited gold and to arise from the action of inherent forces of 
growth. The salient edges of alluvial gold-crystals are often quite 
sharp, presenting thus evidence of the absence of agents of attrition 
or of solution. The presence of large gold-crystals in alluvial drifts, 
together with the unworn edges often shown by them, is largely 
relied upon, as will be seen later, to support the hypothesis of the 
growth of gold in situ in alluvial deposits. Liversidge" has 

"Jour. Chem. Soc, LXXXI, 1897, pp. 1, 125. 



shown that polished and etched sections of rounded and water- 
worn alluvial nuggets almost invariably show them to possess 
an internal crystalline structure. A rare development in the 
crystallization of gold is shown in the formation of blister-like 
protuberances on the octahedral faces of a specimen from 
California (Plate I). These are not capable of a ready ex- 
planation, since they do not appear to be comparable to ordinary 
curved faces, which are often to be referred to the action of sol- 
vents, which normally work by first attacking the crystal edges. 
The gold-crystals of the vadose zone of fissures are on the whole 







Figs. 1-6. Simple Forms of Gold Crystals (rarely obtained in nature). 

Fig. 1. Cube. Fig. 2. Octahedron. Fig. 3. Rhombic dodecahedron. Fig. 4. Four-faced Cube- 
Fig. 5. Trapezohedron. Fig. 6. Six -faced octahedron. 

much smaller, much less perfect, and much more complex in aggre- 
gation than those of the alluvial drifts. This difference is probably 
due largely to environment and, possibly, to differing degrees of 
concentration of auriferous solutions, since, chemically regarded, 
there cannot be conceived to exist any radical difference between 
waters percolating in the upper portions of fissures above the 
permanent water-level and those passing through placer gravels. 
At times the degree of auriferous concentration in the waters 
of vein-fissures must be relatively high, in which case rapid 
deposition is expressed by the formation of moss- and leaf -gold. 



The gold of quartz-veins is often so fine as to escape ordinary 
observation. Edman a has shown that particles of gold may be 
less than '002 mm. in length. When extremely fine particles of 
gold are dispersed through quartz the whole acquires a greenish 
hue, a feature which is most distinctly observable perhaps in 
specimens from the free-gold zones of andesitic regions. 

The crystal forms of gold hitherto observed have been the cube 

,100 } ; rhombic dodecahedron ,110 J ; octahedron -111- ; tetra- 

hexahedra (four-faced cubes) {410}, {310}, 1520}, {210} ; trapezo- 

hedra ] 811 } , { 411 } , { 311 } , { 211 } ; and hexoctahedra (sLx-faced 

octahedra) {421}, {321}, {543}, { 18.10.1 }. 6 Ideally simple 


Figs. 7-12. Forms of Crystallized Gold. 

Figs. 7 and 8. California. Fig. 9. Urals. Fig. 10. Boicza. Figs. 11 and 12. California. 

a={l(X)}, o= { 1 1 1 } . e*={ll0}, m={31l}, x= {l8.10.l}. 

forms are rare. Abnormal forms observed in gold crystals 
have at times been ascribed to inclined hemihedrism, but 
there is no sound evidence for this assumption, and gold in 
crystallization may be regarded as always holosymmetric. The 
crystallization of gold, and particularly of specimens from 
Transylvania, from the Urals, and from Western North America, 
has been closely studied by Rose, c Helmhacker/ vom Rath,' 

a " L'Or dans la Nature," Cumenge and Robellaz, Paris, 1897, p. 40. 

" This form has been determined as { 15.9.1 } by Naumann and as { 19.11.1 } by Rose. 

c Pogg. Annal., XXIII, 1831, p. 196. 

d Min. Mittheil., 1877, App. No. 1. 
e Zeit. fur Kryst., I, 1877, p. 1. 



Figs. 13-23. Forms of Crystallized Gold. Syseetsk, Urals (ddmhacker) 




Figs. 24-34. Forms of Crystallized Gold, Sysertsk. Urals {Helmhacker). 



Werner," Dana (E.S.), and others. h Considerable aberration from 
the ideal forms of isometric symmetry is general, as will be seen 
from an inspection of the accompanying figures. Abnormal forms 
are to be explained by simple or compound twinning parallel to 
the octahedron or by elongation or flattening along a di-trigonal 
axis of symmetry (a cube diagonal), and one, therefore, normal to 
faces of the octahedron. Twinning and elongation may produce 
rhombohedra. The form shown in Fig. 45 is apparently a com- 

Gvld> ITtreads magnified, 
ta shenv sha/fT/ characfv/: 

Fig. 35. Filamentary Gold in Quaktz Vugh, Caledonian Mine, New Zealand (Ward). 

About i natural size 

bination of three separate rhombic prisms (with angles of 70 32') 
terminated in each case by pyramid faces. In reality each branch 
is a combination of two elongated cubes (a) twinned along an 
octahedral plane and terminated by faces of the tetrahexahedron 
(e), in this case, { 210}. The faces of the cube are further striated 

a Neues Jahrb. fur Min., I, 1881, p. 1. 
6 Am. Jour. Sci., XXXII, 1886, p. 132. 



parallel to their intersections with the faces of the terminating 
tetrahexahedron, indicating probably successive stages of parallel 
growth. On the other hand, flattening along an axis normal to the 
octahedral face may produce forms that simulate very closely 
monoclinic plates. (Figs. 46 and 47.) Other faces beside those of 
the cube may be striated. Lewis" has noted deep striations on 
the faces of the trapezohedron |811[ parallel to their line of inter- 
section with the faces of the cube. 

Moss-gold, wire-gold, and dendritic forms may ordinarily be 
taken to indicate incipient crystallization along di-trigonal axes 
of symmetry, accompanied by abnormal elongation along those 
axes. In some cases, as in the wire-gold from the Santa Isabel 
mines of Colombia, elongation is accompanied by twinning. A 

Figs. 36-38. Incipient Crystallization of Gold, Verespatak (Vom Rath). 

JlOO}, o={lll}. 

remarkable form of moss-gold is shown in Fig. 35 from the formerly 
famous Caledonian mine, Thames, New Zealand. The whole grew in 
a cavity lined with quartz crystals. The filaments were sufficiently 
strong and sufficiently interlaced to maintain an upright position. 
They were, curiously enough, terminated by well-defined crystals of 
chalcopyrite, crystals of which were also attached like buds to other 
parts of the threads. h Filaments of gold simulating moss- and 
tree-gold have been produced by Liversidge c by roasting auriferous 
mispickel, but it is nevertheless extremely improbable that any 

a Phil. Mag., Ill, 1877, p. 456. 

b Ward, Min. Mag., Ill, 1879, p. 81. 

c Proc. Roy. Soc. N.S.W., XXVII, 1893, p. 1. 



natural filamentary gold has been deposited otherwise than from 
aqueous solution. Gold occasionally shows crystalline skeletal 
growth as parallel octahedra united on octahedral faces. Much 





Figs. 39-45. Forms of Crystallized Gold. 

Figs. 39 and 40. Oregon (Dana). Fig. 41. Vercspatak, Transylvania (Vom Rath). 

Fig. 42. Vercspatak (Werner). Fig. 43. Twin-crystals, Verespatak (Vom Rath). 
Fig. 44. Berezovsk, Urals (Fletcher). Fig. 45. Tvvin-crystals, Zdraholcz (Vom Rath). 

o={lll}, a={l00}, d={ HO}, w={31l}, e={210}, /={310J-, ^={411}. 

mote rarely does it occur as successive cubes disposed along an 
axis of di-trigonal symmetry. The last form is common enough 
for skeletal growths of native silver, as from Kongsberg, Norway, 



but has been noted, by the present writer at least, only in a few 
specimens, of which one of the most perfect, from an 
unknown locality, is in the Cambridge University Mineralogical 
Museum. Indications of the same form of growth may also be 
observed in the La Trobe nugget, figured in the frontispiece of 
this volume. 

The percentage of silver admixed with gold appears to exercise 
but little influence on crystallization, as might indeed be inferred 
from the isometric symmetry of native silver. Nevertheless there 
are some grounds for a suggestion that the tendency of the purer 
gold is to adopt the simpler forms (octahedra and cubes) in crystal- 
lizing rather than the trapezohedra, hexoctahedra, &c, found 



Figs. 46-48. Crystallized Gold, Haurakt Associated Mine, Coromandel {Maclaren). 
Figs. 46 and 47. Opposite sides of same plate, X 1 J. Fig. 48. X 6. 

(ill '- 

llOJ; m-m=\m 11 } 

most commonly in electrurn or low-grade " gold." The problem 
is, however, complicated by the fact that crystals of the purer 
gold are, as a rule, found in alluvial gravels, while those of electrurn 
(native gold-silver alloy) are derived from fissures in the vadose 
zones. The distinction, such as it is, may therefore arise from 
accompanying physical conditions, and not from inherent properties 
of gold and of gold-silver alloy respectively. 

Even the purest native gold contains some silver. The finest 
gold yet recorded is that from the Great Boulder mine, Kalgoorlie, 
Western Australia. It was obviously derived from the decomposition 
of auriferous tellurides and was 999-1 fine. A small quantity 
of gold from the Pike's Peak mine, Cripple Creek, Colorado, showed 
on assay a fineness of 999, while a very large portion of the outcrop 


gold of the famous Mount Morgan mine, Queensland, was 997 fine. a 
The last has furnished probably the greatest bulk of fine gold, 
for the two first-mentioned results were obtained from assays 
of small picked samples, rather than from the mass of the gold 
recovered on a commercial scale. 

Alluvial gold directly derived from the degradation of auriferous 
veins is invariably higher in quality than the gold of the parent 
vein, since meteoric waters. act on all sides of the liberated grains 
and particles, and remove much of the more soluble silver. It is 
c6mmonly noted that alluvial gold-dust from the lower reaches 
of any given river is much higher in quality than the coarser grains 
and nuggets of gold found in the upper waters of the same stream, 
the increase in purity arising, of course, from the greater total 
surface exposed, in the case of the finer dust, to the action of silver 

Pure Gold Pure gold is a clear yellow metal, unaffected 
by the atmosphere or by its contained impurities. The colour may 
be varied considerably by alloy with other metals, admixture with 
copper producing a reddish tinge, while a certain percentage of 
silver, notably 15 per cent, according to Leach, h yields a distinctly 
green colour. Finely-divided gold is purple by reflected and green 
by transmitted light. The metal is exceedingly malleable. Its 
density when perfectly pure and when in ingots reaches 19-3 at 
70 C, but this density is. of course, never attained in nature. 
According to Kahlbaum and Sturm c the density of soft gold is 
19-2601 ; and of hard-hammered gold, 19 - 2504. The melting point 
of gold is in the neighbourhood of 1,064 C. The following 
temperatures have been arrived at experimentally : 1,061 
(Callendar), 1.061 (Heycock and Neville), 1,064-3 (Holborn 
and Day), 1,065-6 (D. Berthelot), 1,067-4 (Jacquerod and 
Perrot). When molten, gold appears to take on a greenish 
tinge. It may be readily volatilised in the electric furnace. 
With a current of 350 amperes at 110 volts no less than 60 
grammes (nearly 2 ounces) were volatilised in 6 minutes. 
With a current of the same voltage but of 500 amperes 13-3 
per cent, of an ingot weighing 150 grammes (nearly 5 ounces) 
was vaporised in Qh minutes.^ The gold thus volatilised condenses 
either as deep yellowish-green spherules, coated often with a purple 
glaze, or as filaments, or occasionally as minute, brilliant yellow, 
cubical crystals. In a vacuum gold commences to volatilise at a 

Leibius, Proc. Roy. Soc. N.S.W., XVIII, 1884, p. .37. 

b Min. Sci. Press, Feb. 28, 1908, p. 195. 

( ' Zeit. anorg. Chem., XLVI, 1905, p. 244. 

d Moissan, Compt. Rend. Acad. Sci., Paris, CXLI, 1905, p. 977. 

Plate I. 

# v 


Alluvial Cold, 

Otago, New Zealakd. 

(Nat. size.) 

Vein Gold, 

Sentaschli River, Orenburg, Russia. 

(Photo. Dr. Hatch. f nat. size.) 

Vein Gold, 

antioquia, ( lolombia. 

(British .Museum. Nat. size.) 

( rOLD Crystals 

with Blistered Faces, California. 

(British Museum. Nat. size.) 



temperature of 1,070 C., rt and boils at 1,800 C. h Under atmo- 
spheric pressure the boiling point of gold is estimated at 2,530 C. c 
Gold is attacked in the dry way by fluorine at a temperature 
of 300 C, and by chlorine under the same conditions at 200 C. 
In the former case the fluoride formed is decomposed on increase 
of temperature. Tellurium vapour, according to Margottet, attacks 
gold, yielding a crystalline telluride.^ Neither sulphur nor selenium 
are known to combine directly with gold ; and few acids have any 
effect on it. Mitscherlich, 6 as far back as 1827, reported its 
solubility in selenic acid. Gold is attacked by iodic acid in the 
presence of sulphuric acid and by hydriodic acid in an ethereal 
solution. The usual solvent used in the arts is, of course, aqua 
regia (nitro-hydrochloric acid). Gold is also soluble in fuming 
hydrochloric acid, in oxygenated hydrochloric acid, in permanganic 
acid, &c. The last and other solvents well known in the laboratory, 
however, appear to have little scope for action in nature and need 
not be discussed in this place. 


Elect rum. The electrum of Pliny (probably named on account 
of its yellow colour, from the HXeKTpov, or amber, of Strabo) was 
defined as a natural alloy containing one-fifth of silver. The term 
is occasionally used by modern writers to cover natural gold-silver 
alloys, but has not met with general acceptance, its place being 
supplied by an extension of the term " gold." Electrum is derived 
almost entirely from the Tertiary andesitic goldfields of North, 
South, and Central America, New Zealand, and Hungary. Its 
colour varies, with the percentage of silver present, from yellowish 
white to pale yellow ; its specific gravity ranges between 12-5 and 
15-5. The proportions of gold and silver present are often molec- 
ular, and may for the given cases indicate definite chemical 
compounds, as was first pointed out by Boussingault./ It is, 
however, probable that in the majority of occurrences electrum is 
composed of an exceedingly intimate mixture (an isomorphous solid 
solution) of gold and silver. 

The occurrence of electrum or low-grade gold in the veins 
of the younger volcanic deposits alone may possibly be regarded 

"Schuller, Zeit. anorg. Chem., XXXVII, 1903, p. 69. 

6 Krafft and Bergfeld, Berichte Chem. Gesell., XXXVIII, 1905, p. 254. 

c Moissan, loc. cit. sup. 

d Margottet, Ann. de l'Ecole normale, VIII, 1879, p. 247. 

e Ann. Phys. Chem. Pogg., IX, 1827, p. 623. 

/ Ann. Chem. Phys., XXXIV. 1827, p. 408. 


as evidence of a more or less direct magmatic origin for the electrum. 
Here the gold is still associated with the metallic impurities of the 
solfataric waters in which it has made its ascent towards the surface ; 
the alloy has not yet been subjected to those selective agents of 
solution and precipitation that have had abundant opportunities 
in time and space to refine the gold of the older vein deposits. Even 
if the gold of ancient veins does not represent the end-product of 
processes of solution and precipitation many times repeated, at 
least it often, as in the Ordovician rocks of Victoria, denotes a long 
journey in space through fissures of rocks capable of exercising a 
selective action on the metals of passing solutions. 

Maldonite. Maldonite or bismuth-gold is a well-defined 
compound of gold and bismuth. It was discovered and described 
by Uhlrich a from the quartz of the Nuggetty Reef, Maldon, Victoria. 
It occurred, when originally described, only as minute grains and 
specks, but the outcrop and upper zones of the Nuggetty Reef 
contained considerable quantities of the bismuth-gold, or " black 
gold," as it was termed by the miners. Its mineralogical characters 
are : hardness, 1-5 to 2-0 ; malleable ; very sectile ; very bright 
metallic lustre and pinkish silver- white colour when freshly broken, 
but tarnishing gradually on exposure, first to a dull copper colour 
and ultimately to black. No crystal forms have been observed. 
Heated on charcoal before the blowpipe it readily melts in the 
oxidising flame to a bead of gold, yielding the usual yellow bismuth 
incrustation on the charcoal. The following analyses have been 
made : 




64 5 



To this group belongs the somewhat doubtful bismuthaurite of 
Shepard c from Rutherford County, North Carolina, where the 
mineral occurred in small malleable palladium-like grains. Hardness, 
2 to 3; and specific gravity, 12 -44 to 12-90. It has generally been 
considered an artificial product, and is not mentioned by Genth in his 
catalogue of the minerals of North Carolina.^ 

a Contrib. Mineral. Victoria, Melbourne, 1870, p. 4. 
/; Mclvor, Chem. News, LV, 1887, p. 191. 
f Ani. Jour. Sei., XXIV, 1857. pp. 112, 281. 
^Bull. No. 74. U.S. Geol. Surv., 1891. 


Nenadkevitch " reports bismuth-gold approaching to bismuth- 
aurite from the telluric and bismuth ores of Schil-Isset in the Urals. 

Rhodite. The rhodium-gold alloy or rhodite of Adam^ is of 
doubtful occurrence in nature. It has been described only by 
Del Rio, and that nearly a century ago, c from material afterwards 
said to have come from the placers of Mexico and Colombia. It was 
said to contain 34 to 43 per cent, of rhodium, and to have a specific 
gravity of 15-5 to 16-8. It is certainly not evident from Del 
Rio's original paper (communicated by the famous traveller, 
Humboldt) that the substance examined was a natural alloy, being, 
indeed, designated by Del Rio simply " un alliage d'or.' ,rf The 
material was, moreover, obtained at the Apartado (mint) of Mexico, 
and from the terms of Del Rio's description it would appear that 
the alloy described had been obtained after melting. 6 

Porpezite. Palladium-gold or porpezite was named in error 
by Frobel,./ after the supposed name (Porpez) of the locality 
(Pompeo) in which it was first found. Porpezite of a dark or 
bronze-like, or bright copper-red colour, containing 5 to 10 per cent, 
of palladium, together with a little silver, is found in the Minas 
Geraes province, Brazil (at Jacutinga, Condonga, Sabara, Gongo 
Socco, &c). Seamon^ found in porpezite from Taguaril, Brazil, 
Au 91-06 and Pd 8-21 per cent., corresponding therefore to the 
formula Pd Au . Its specific gravity was 15" 73. Palladium -gold 
has also been reported from gold-washings in the Caucasus, near 

Ruer,J however, concludes from an examination of the freezing- 
point curves of artificial alloys of gold and palladium that these 
alloys form a continuous series of mixed crystals, and that there is 
no indication of chemical combination. The fact that none of the 
three elements, copper, silver, and gold, enter into chemical com- 
bination with palladium is further considered by Ruer to exemplify 
Taumann's rule,* according to which either all or none of the 

a Min. Jour., Oct. 19, 1907. 

b Tableau Mineralogique, 1869, p. 83 

c Annales de Cliemie et de Physique, XXIX, 1825, p. 137 ; Ann. des Mines. XII, 
1826, p. 323. 

d Ann. de Chem. Phys., XXIX, p. 138. 

e I can find no authority for the statement (e.g., Cumenge and Robellaz, " L'Or 
dans la Nature," Paris, 1898, p. 65) that the material examined came from Colombia. 
/ Haidinger, Handbuch der bestimmenden mineralogie, 1845, p. 558. 
9 Dana, System of Mineralogy, 1892, 6th Edition, p. 15. 
^ Chem. News, XLVT, 1882, p. 216. 
*Wilm, Zeitsch. anorg. Chem., IV, 1893, p. 300. 
ilb. LI, 1006, p. 391. 
k Jour. Chem. Soc, 1906, A. II, p. 346. 


elements of a natural group in the narrower sense enter into chemical 
combination with each other. 

Amalgam. Gold amalgam occurs native. It contains a variable 
proportion of mercury, and is apparently of indefinite composition. 
Amalgam with 57-4 per cent, mercury is reported from the alluvial 
placers of Colombia." Amalgam from Mariposa, California, yielded, 
on analysis, 61 per cent, mercury, and had a specific gravity of 
15-47.^ In placer mines that have long been worked much of the 
amalgam now found is doubtless of secondary origin, due to the 
union of gold with quicksilver lost by the old miners. Native 
amalgam is found in the gravels of the Pek river, Servia, where 
it is termed " zivak," and in Victoria, in the quartz of the German 
Reef, Tarrangower. c Artificial crystals of gold-amalgam show faces 
of the octahedron, cube, rhombic dodecahedron, and trapezohedron.^ 

"Schneider, Jour, prakt. Che'm., XL1II, 1848, p. 317. 

" Sonnenschein, Zeit. deutsch. geol. Gesell., VI, 1854, p. 243. 

f Uhlricb, Berg. u. Hiitt. Zeit., XVIII, 1859, p. 221. 

d ld., Contrib. Min. Vict. 1866, p. 82. 



Tellurides of Gold. Of the numerous salts of gold only 
those which occur, or which may possibly occur, in nature, will here 
be considered. Gold is an element forming stable compounds 
with difficulty even in the laboratory under the conditions obtaining 
at or near the earth's surface ; in nature its stable salts are restricted 
to the telluride group, if, indeed, even these be definite chemical 
compounds. Members of this group were first described from 
Zalathna, Transylvania, by Klaproth, in 1802. They form notable 
additions to the gold content of the veins of Nagyag and Offenbanya, 
in Hungary, where they have been mined for many years. Telluride- 
ores of gold nevertheless assumed economic importance only with 
the discovery of the rich camps of Cripple Creek, in Colorado, 
and of Kalgoorlie, in Western Australia. Prior to the discovery 
of the Cripple Creek field telluride-ores had been known in Colorado 
since 1872, and had been worked, with indifferent success, in Boulder 
County, and in the La Plata and San Juan mountains. Though 
their presence has been reported during the past 10 years from 
other regions, the two great goldfields above-mentioned remain 
the only telluride fields of economic importance. Gold-tellurides 
occur at Deutsch-Pilsen, Bohemia ; Nagyag, Offenbanya, Za^thna, 
and elsewhere in Hungary ; Mount Morgan/' and Gympie, 6 Queens- 
land ; South Lepanto, Phillipine Island 5 ; Hauraki Goldfields, 
New Zealand/ where it has been determined only by analysis ; 
Rhodesia, South Africa,^ also by analysis ; Moss Township, Ontario 
(sylvanite) ; Dahlonega, Georgia ( sylvan ite) ; King's Mount, 
North Carolina (nagyagite) ; Taku, South Yukon (sylvanite) ; 
Tonopah and Goldfield, Nevada ; and Shasta and Calaveras 
Counties, California. 

It is characteristic of the known great deposits of telluride-ores 
that they occupy zones or belts of impregnation or fill minute 
fissures, and are not associated with quartz deposition in vein- 
fissures or with silicification of the country adjacent to fissures. 
There is, nevertheless, no ground for a consequent assumption of 
pneumatolytic origin for telluride-ores ; they, as well as the great 
majority of sulphide ores impregnating country or filling fissures, 

Rickard, T A., Trans. Amer. Inst. M.E., XXX, 1900, p. 713. 
^ Dunstan, Rec. Geol. Surv. Queensland, No. 2, 1904. 
c Allen, Trans. Aust. Inst. M.E., VII, 1901, p. 95 ; Baker, inlitt. 
^Mennell, Proc. Rhorl. Sci. Assn., 1902. 


may best be considered to arise from deposition from heated aqueous 
solutions. In this connection, however, it is interesting to note 
that Cossa a determined the presence of tellurium in fumarolic 
concretions from the crater of Vulcano (Lipari), and succeeded in 
separating 2 -J grammes of pure tellurium from three kilograms 
of the concretionary material. The concretions contain also selen- 
sulphur, arsenic sulphide, and hieratite (2 K F. SiF 4 ), together with 
rarer minerals, the whole forming a most suggestive assemblage. 
Tellurides of gold and silver when brought within reach of surface 
oxidising waters are readily decomposed, and the gold, at least, 
is reduced to the metallic state, in which condition it serves as a 
nucleus for the precipitation of gold from wandering solutions. 
As Lenher has recently shown, reduction is also effected by any 
of the natural metallic tellurides. There may therefore, in the 
oxidised zone of a gold-telluride vein, be found both a dull finely- 
divided mossy gold (" mustard gold ") derived directly from the 
decomposition of the tellurides, and a bright lustrous form precipitated 
from solutions. It is, on the whole, very probable, as suggested by 
Lenher b from his failure to produce definite compounds by 
synthetical methods, that the natural tellurides are also not definite 
chemical compounds, but are rather in the nature of alloys, thus 
controverting the earlier work of Brauner, c who had asserted that 
definite crystalline polytellurides were obtainable in the laboratory.^ 

It may be regarded as more than a coincidence that the 
tellurides of gold are confined to regions of characteristic andesitic 
facies, or to the Archaean hornblendic schists, which are, as will 
be seen later, probably to be considered merely as metamorphosed 
prototypes of the Tertiary andesitic complexes. It is true that 
through the auriferous Archsean schists there ramify numerous 
diabasic dykes of much later age, but it will be shown later that the 
work of these dykes, so far as it relates to auriferous deposition, 
has been the formation of quartz lodes with free gold. The 
speculation may therefore be advanced that tellurides of gold are 
directly and genetically connected with magmas of intermediate 

In the following pages the various naturally occurring tellurides 
are described with some detail. 

Calaverite. Calaverite, associated with petzite, was dis- 
covered by Genth e in ore from the Stanislaus mine, Calaveras County, 

11 Atti. del. Accad. Scienzc, Torino, XXXIII, 1897. p. 450. 

b Jour. Am. Chem. Soc, .XXIV, 1902, pp. 358, 919. 

r Jour. Chem. Soc, LV, 1889, p. 391. 

d See also Margottet, Ann. de 1'Ecole normale, VIII. 1879, p. 247. 

e Am. Jour. Sci., XLV, 1868, p. 314. 



California. It is found in considerable quantity at Cripple Creek, 
Colorado, and is also the principal gold-telluride ore of the famous 
Kalgoorlie field in Western Australia. It usually occurs massive, 
and such crystallized specimens as have been found have been too 
imperfect to admit of the determination of the crystallographic 
system. Its colour is pale bronze-yellow ; when scratched it gives 
a yellowish-grey streak. Its hardness varies from 2 to 3, and its 
specific gravity from 9 -311 to 9-377. Unlike sylvanite and krennerite 
it has no perfect cleavage, and breaks with an uneven fracture. 
Its composition is best represented by the formula Au Te., (Au 
56-3, Te 43-7) to which, indeed, its analyses show it to be fairly 

Cripple Creek 

99 99 

Kalgoorlie . 

























Insol. 0-33) 
Fe 2 O 3 0-12/ 

Cu, Fe, S, Pb, Bi, 
Zn, 0-48 
Cu, Fe, Ni, Se, S, 
gangue, 1-81 
Cu, Fe. 0-63 . 



? ? 




Before the blowpipe on charcoal, calaverite fuses with a bluish 
green flame, leaving a yellow bead of gold. Heated in the closed 
tube, it gives a black sublimate of metallic tellurium, and a less 
volatile yellow (hot) or white (cold) sublimate of tellurous oxides. 
The gold beads obtained either on charcoal or in the closed tube 
often show the phenomenon of recalescence a sudden secondary 
flashing and glowing of the bead, due probably to the presence 
of a small quantity of tellurium. 

Calaverite has been recorded from the Stanislaus mine, 
Calaveras County, California, associated with petzite ; from the 
Red Cloud, Keystone, and other mines, Boulder County, Colorado, 
associated also with petzite ; from the Cripple Creek district, Teller 
County, Colorado ; and from the mines of Kalgoorlie, Western 
Australia, where it occurs with sylvanite, krennerite, and petzite. 
It is said to occur also in the Southern Lepanto district, Phillipine 

Sylvanite. Telluride of gold and silver. Type formula : 
(Au Ag) Te., ; but the mineral as occurring in nature appears 

"Spencer, L. J., Min. Mag., XIII, 1903, p. 270. 



to have a fairly constant composition that may be represented as 
Au Ag Te 4 . Axes ; a : i : c -. = 1-63394 : 1 : 1-12653 ; fi = 89 35' 
= 001 A 100. System of crystallization : monoclinic. The 
observed forms have been : orthopinacoid (100) ; clinopinacoid 
(010) ; basal plane (001) ; unit prism (110) ; orthodiagonal prisms 

Figs. 49-57. Sylvanite (Graphic Tellurium) feom Nagyag and Offenbanya (Schrauj). 
=(201), Q=flll), D=(221), r=(lll), <r=(121), L=(522), j,=(341), =(121), y=(123), =(321), 
4=(323), 1= (211), oc=(414). 

(210), (310), (510) ; clinodiagonal prism (120) ; orthodomes (101), 
(201), (301), (101),_(201), _(301) ; _clinodomes (001), (012), (021); 
hemi-octahedrons (Til), (112), (223), (221), (111), (112), (221); 



orthodiagonal pyramids (414), (314), (313), (311), (621), (525), 
(723), (521), (213), (212), (211), (421), (323), (321), (542); (721), 
(621), (311), (522), (521), (213), (212), (211), (421), (323), (321), 
(542) ; clinodiagonal pyramids (341), (343), (231), (121), (122), 
(123), (381), (131), (141), (292), (161); (671), (341), (231), (121), 
(122), (123), (381), (131), (141). Twinning plane: the orthodome 
(iOl). Twinned members occur as contact twins, as twinned 
lamellae, and as penetration twins, giving rise to branching 
arborescent forms crossing at angles of 69 44' and resembling 
written characters (whence the name grajjhic tellurium, Ger., Schrift- 
tellur). Skeletal forms common, also bladed, and imperfectly 
columnar to granular. Cleavage : perfect, parallel to the clinopina- 
coid (010). Fracture uneven. Brittle. Hardness, 1 5 to 2. Specific 
gravity, 7-9 to 8-3. Lustre : metallic, brilliant. Colour and streak 
pure steel-grey to silver-white, sometimes nearly brass-yellow. 
The following are the principal analyses available : 







(Cu 0-76 





Pb 0-25 
iSb 0-58 
|Pb tr. 







Cu 0-09 

'Fe 0-40 



Red Cloud ] 
Colorado ) 




/Cu 0-32 
) Fe 0-16 
] Ni 0-10 
lSe 0-20 








Cripple Creek . . 




Fe 1.19, Insol. 1-02 



In the open-tube sylvanite yields a white sublimate of tellurium 
oxide, which near the assay is grey ; the sublimate when treated with 
the blowpipe flame fuses to clear transparent beads. When heated 
before the blowpipe on charcoal, sylvanite fuses to a dark-grey 
globule, covering the coal with a white coating, which, treated 
with the reducing flame, disappears, giving a bluish-green colour 
to the flame ; after Jong blow r ing a yellow malleable metallic globule 
of gold is obtained. Most varieties give a faint coating of lead oxide 
and antimony trioxide on charcoal." 

Sylvanite derived its name from its earliest known occurrence 
in the Transylvanian mountains (Franciscus and Barbara mines, 
Offenbanya). Elsewhere in the Siebenburgischen Erzgebirge it 

Dana, " System of Mineralogy," 6th Ed., 1892, p. 104. 



occurs at Zalathna, Nagyag, and Faczebaj. An occurrence has 
been noted from Deutsch-Pilsen, Hungary. In the United States 
of America it has been recorded from the Stanislaus and Melones 
mines, Calaveras County, California ; from the Red Cloud, Grand 
View, and Smuggler mines, Boulder County, Colorado ; from 
many Cripple Creek mines ; and from Balmoral and Preston 
in the Black Hills of South Dakota, where gold-telluride ores occur 
in a dolomitic limestone. a In Canada, sylvanite is reported from 
the Huronian mine in the Thunder Bay district of Ontario. Large 
quantities have also been found at Kalgoorlie, Western Australia. 

Mullerine. Mullerine is a brass-yellow telluride of gold, 
silver, antimony, and lead, from Nagyag, Transylvania. It appears, 
however, to be merely a variety of sylvanite or of krennerite, the 
presence of antimony and lead being due to impurities. Like 
krennerite it decrepitates under the blowpipe, and as, according 
to Krenner and Schrauf, its angles are identical with those of 
krennerite, it should perhaps be referred to that species rather 
than to sylvanite. The following analyses have been made of the 
mineral and have served as the foundation on which the species 
has been differentiated : 








White Crystals .... 








? J 5? .... 








Yellow Crystals .... 







* * 

Yellow, Massive .... 






? * 

? 5 J .... 







?. ,) .... 






The goldschmidtite of Hobbs^ has proved on further exami- 
nation of the type crystals and of fresh material to be referable 
to sylvanite, representing, however, a peculiar crystal habit of that 
mineral. The original material on which the term goldschmidtite 
was founded came from the Gold Dollar mine, Cripple Creek, 
Colorado. The differentiation of goldschmidtite as a distinct 
mineral species has therefore been abandoned by Hobbs. c 

Krennerite Krennerite was first described by Vom Rath. rf 
It differs from sylvanite only in crystallization, and when both are 
massive the separation into species is impracticable. It crystallizes 

a Smith, F. C, Jour. Pract. Cliera., VI, 1898, p. 67. 
b Am. Jour. Sci., VII, 1899, p. 357. 
c Palache, Am. Jour. Sci., X, Ser. 4, 1900, p. 426. 
d Zeitsch. Kryst, I, 1877, p. 614. 




in the rhombic system. Axes, a : b : c : 0-94071 : 1 : 0-50445. 
The crystal forms observed on krennerite have been : n Basal plane 
(001) ; macropinacoid (100) ; brachypinacoid (010) ; unit prism 
(110) ; macrodiagonal prisms (210), (320) ; brachydiagonal prisms 
(120), (130) ; macrodomes (102), (101), (201), (301) ; brachydomes 
(011), (021), (031), (041); unit pyramid (111); macrodiagonal 


^Az " * 



n tti 

a 1 






j | 



T h T 




' a 

Figs. 58 and 59. Krennerite, Nagyag (Vom Rath). Fig. 60. Krennerite {Miers). 
a = (100), b= (010), c= (001) ,1 = (320), m = (110), n= (120), h = (101), e= (011), a = (021), 
q = (031), a- = (041), h = (110), g = (102).. Q = (201), w = (124), u = (122), ( = (121), v = (362). 

pyramids (211), (322) ; brachydiagonal pyramids (122), (124), 
(121), (362). 

Crystals of krennerite are usually 
prismatic and vertically striated. Its 
cleavage is basal and perfect. Fracture, 
sub-conchoidal to uneven. Brittle. 

Hardness ranges from 2 to 3 ; specific 
gravity: 8-3533. Lustre : metallic, 
brilliant. Colour : silver-white to brass- 
yellow. Opaque. Its composition, like 
that of sylvanite, may be represented 
by the general formula (Au Ag) Te 2 , 
but while the proportions of silver and 
gold in sylvanite are fairly constant, 
considerable variation has been observed 
in krennerite, as is shown in the following selected analyses : 

r m 



Fig. 61. Krennerite, Cripple 
Creek (Penfield). 



Cripple Creek 
Kalgoorlie . . . 











S. 4-39 






. , 

. . 






/Cu 0-34 
(Fe 0-59 






. . 

. . 





. . 

. . 






a Dana, loc. cit., p. 105 ; Miers, Min. Mag., IX, 1890, p. 184. 



When heated before the blowpipe, decrepitates violently, but 
is otherwise like sylvanite or calaverite. Occurs at Nagyag, Tran- 
sylvania, in the Independence mine ; Cripple Creek, Colorado, and, 
somewhat doubtfully, at Kalgoorlie." In Western Australia it is 
also reported from near Lake Lefroy and from Broad Arrow. 

Petzite. Petzite is a telluride of silver and gold. It has not 
been observed in crystal form. Fracture, sub-conchoidal. Slightly 
sectile to brittle. Hardness, 2-5 to 3. Specific gravity, 8-7 to 9-02. 
Lustre, metallic. Colour, steel or iron-grey to iron-black ; often 
tarnished. Its composition is represented by the general formula 
(Ag Au) 2 Te, as indicated by the following analyses : 


Stanislaus Mine, ) 

California ) 
Red Cloud Mine, : 

Colorado j 












Bi,Pb,Zn, Fe,Si0. 2 = 2-12 
Cu, Fe, Ni, Se, S, Si0 2 =2-08 


23-58 Hg, Cu, Fe, Sb,= l-38 




The actual formula may therefore be written 3 Ag 2 Te Au 2 Te, 
or Ag 3 Au Te 2 . 

Before the blowpipe petzite is much more refractory than the 
other gold-silver tellurides, requiring the addition of sodium car- 
bonate for reduction to a metallic bead. It is with difficulty 
distinguishable by its physical characters alone from coloradoite, 
the mercury-telluride. 

---.-j (-' 

Figs. 62 and 63. Hessite from Botes, Hungary (Becke). 
h = (100), d = (110), e = (210), o = (111), i = (211), p = (221). 

Hessite Hessite is normally a silver-telluride, but since 
variable portions of the silver are occasionally replaced by gold, 
some mention of it must here be made. It crystallizes in the cubic 

; Spencer, L. J., Min. Mag., XIII, 1902, p. 262. 



system with the observed forms : Cube (100) ; octahedron (111) ; 
dodecahedron (110) ; tetrahexahedron (310), (210) ; trigonal 
trisoctahedron (221), (331); trapezohedron (311), (211), (322). 
Cleavage, indistinct. Fracture, even. Somewhat sectile. Hardness, 
2-5 to 3. Specific gravity, 8-31 to 8-45; another determination 
is 8-89. Lustre, metallic. Colour, between lead-grey and steel- 
grey. Its composition is ordinarily represented by the formula 
Ago Te, but with a considerable quantity of gold present it approaches 
petzite. The following are analyses showing high percentages 
of gold : 



Stanislaus Mine, ) 
California ) 

Red Cloud Mine,\ 
Colorado / 


















Pb 1-65, Ni -471 

Fe, Cu, SiO 2 =0-39 

Fe, Cu, Pb, Zn,Si0 o = l-45 
Fe, Zn, Si0 2 =l-54 




Before the blowpipe hessite behaves like petzite, fusing to a 
black globule, and requiring the addition of sodium carbonate 
for the production of a white metallic bead. Auriferous hessite 
is known from Nagyag and Botes in Transylvania ; from the 
Stanislaus mine, Calaveras County, and the Golden Rule mine, 
Tuolumne County, California ; from the Red Cloud mine, Boul- 
der County, Colorado ; from the Kearsage mine, Dry Canon, 
Utah ; and from the Kara-Issar district in Asia Minor. 

The kalgoorlite of Pittman ra and the coolgardite of Carnot & 
are two mineral species founded on material obtained from Kalgoorlie 
in Western Australia. To the former the formula Hg Au 2 Ag 6 Te 6 
was given, and to the latter (Au Ag Hg Cu Fe Sb) 2 Te 3 , or more 
simply (Au Ag Hg) 2 Te 3 , it being therefore regarded as a sesqui- 
telluride of gold. As was first pointed out by Rickard, c and con- 
firmed by Spencer,^ kalgoorlite is in all probability a mixture 
of coloradoite (Hg Te) and petzite (Ag 3 Au Te 2 ), while the cool- 
gardite of Carnot is regarded by Spencer as a complex mixture of 
coloradoite, petzite, calaverite, and sylvanite. To this assumption 
considerable weight must be attached, since neither Pittman nor 

a Rec. Geol. Surv. New South Wales, V, 1898, p. 203. 
6 Comptes Rendus, Acad. Sci., Paris, CXXXII, 1901, p. 1298. 
c Rickard, T. A., Trans. Am. Inst. M.E., XXX, 1901, p. 715. 
d Spencer, L. J., Min. Mag., XIII, 1903, p. 283. 



Carnot have recorded the presence of coloradoite in the samples 
analysed for the above determinations, although the mercury- 
telluride occurs in some abundance at Kalgoorlie. 

Nagyagitc. Nagyagite is a sulpho-telluride of lead and gold 
with antimony. Orthorhombic ; axes a:b:c = 0-28097:l :0-27607. 
The following forms have been observed:' 1 Brachypinacoid (010); 
unit prism (110) ; brachydiagonal prisms (120), (130), (160) ; macro- 
dome (101) ; brachydomes (011), (031), (051) ; unit pyramid (111) ; 

brachydiagonal pyramids (343), (121), 
(252), (131), (141). 

Crystals of nagyagite are tabular 
parallel to the brachypinacoid. Brachy- 
pinacoidal faces striated. Generally 
foliated. Cleavage, perfect, brachy- 
pinacoidal. Thin laminae flexible. 
Hardness, 1 to 1-5. Specific gravity, 
6-85 to 7-2. Lustre, metallic, splen- 
dent. Streak and colour, blackish lead- 
grey. Opaque. The composition is 
deduced by Sipocz as Au 2 Pb u Sb 3 Te 7 
S 17 ; by Priwoznik as Pb ti Au Te (1 S 8 , 
and by Schroeder as Pb 10 Au 2 Sb 2 Te G S 15 . The following are typical 
analyses on specimens from Nagyag : 

Fig. 64. Nagyagite (Schrauf). 

b = (010), e = (120), o = (160), 
^=(011), /=(031) 9 =(051) ; <=(1U), 
>= (121). 























. . 

Se Trace 








. . 

. . 

Fe 0-41 








. , 

. . 

Fe- 0-32 







Se Trace 
SiO, 1-56 









Before the blowpipe nagyagite forms on charcoal two coatings : 
one, yellow and near the assay, of lead oxide ; the other, 
further away, white and volatile, consisting of a mixture of 
antimoniate, tellurate, and sulphate of lead. In the closed tube 
it gives separate sublimates of antimoniate and tellurate of lead 
and of antimony trioxide and tellurous oxide. Treated for some 
time in the oxidising flame a bead of metallic gold results. Occurs 
at Nagyag and Offenbanya, Transylvania ; at Deutsch-Pilsen, 
Hungary ; in Colorado with other tellurides ; at the King's Mountain 

a Schrauf, Zeitsch. fur Kryst., II, 1878, p. 239; Fletcher, Phil. Mag., IX, 1880,. 
p. 188. 


mine, North Carolina ; and doubtfully, at Friedrichsburg in 

Closely related in physical and chemical characters and to be 
grouped with nagyagite is the nobilite of Adam. a This mineral is 
the silberphyllinglanz of Breithaupt. 6 It was found in the gneiss 
of Deutsch-Pilsen, Hungary. 

The compounds of gold hereafter to be treated are well known 
in the laboratory, but have not been detected or isolated in nature. 

Sulphides of Gold. The sulphides of gold are prepared 
with ease by passing sulphuretted hydrogen through a solution 
of auric chloride, either aurous or auric sulphide or variable mixtures 
of the two being formed according to the temperature of the solution. 

Aurous sulphide (Au.> S) in the form of powder is steel-grey 
when wet, and black when dry. At a temperature of 240 C. it is 
completely decomposed within a few hours. Sulphuric and hydro- 
chloric acids have no effect on it, but it is soluble in the ordinary 
gold solvents, and particularly in alkaline sulphides, and also, 
according to Rose, in alkalis. The formula of the salts resulting 
in cases of solution in alkaline sulphides is probably of the general 
form, Au 2 S 3 , 3 M, S. When freshly prepared it is soluble in pure 
water to the extent of at least 1 gramme per litre, c furnishing a 
brown liquid. Solutions of aurous sulphide resembling colloidal 
solutions are readily obtained, but these are not truly colloidal, being 
formed by the suspension in the solution of exceedingly finely divided 
material, a fact that assumes some importance when considering 
the subterranean transport of gold. 

Auric sulphide (Au 2 S 3 ) is formed by the action of sulphuretted 
hydrogen on cold solutions of auric chloride. It is readily soluble 
in alkaline sulphides forming alkaline thio-aurates. Pure auric 
sulphide is isolated as black scales having a decidedly graphitic 
appearance. It is decomposed at a temperature of 200 C. d Double 
auric and argentic sulphides have long been, known/' The artificial 
double sulphide of gold and silver (2 Au 2 S 3 , 5 Ago S) is crystallized, 
is unalterable at ordinary temperatures, and possesses a specific 
gravity of 8-159. 

Of considerable academic interest also are the complex sulphides 
of gold, silver, lead, copper, and iron, prepared in the dry way 
by fusion by Maclaurin/ in New Zealand. In these the gold sulphide 

n Tableau Mineralogique, 18C9, p. 35. 

h Jour, fur Chemie und Physik (Schweigg.), I, 1828, p. 17S. 
c Moissan, " Traite de Chimie Minerale," V, 602, Paris, 190G. 
d Antony and Lucchesi, Gazzet. Chem. Ital., XX, 1903, p. 601. 
e Muir, Bericht. Chem. Gesell., V, 1872, p. 537. 
/Trans. Chem. Soc, LXIX, 1896, p. 1269. 


invariably showed the formula Au 2 S, suggesting an -ous combination 
of the gold, in similar natural auriferous sulphides. A sulpho- 
telluride of gold (Au., S 3 , Te So) has also been artificially prepared. 
Native gold sulphide has from time to time been reported, 
but the report, as that from Kalgoorlie, has always been based on 
a misconception," or the occurrence is merely inferential. 6 Gold 
sulphide, as a mineral species, is, therefore, still unknown, and 
considering its susceptibility to the influence of reducing agents, 
its existence in the upper zones of fissures is not probable. For 
the same reason its isolation, should it indeed exist in nature, has 
not yet been accomplished, and no practical method has yet been 
devised for the separation, without possible reduction, of the gold 
sulphide from the base metallic sulphides that in mining furnish 
so much of the world's gold. Nevertheless, it is highly probable 
that the greater part of the gold transported in the deeper zones 
of circulation, where the waters are normally alkaline, is carried 
in the form of an alkaline auro-sulphide (or its corresponding ions). 
This assumption is largely relied on as the basis of a working 
hypothesis of the transference of gold in the deeper zones. The 
question will again be referred to in later sections. 

Selenide of Gold. The formula Alio Se 3 is given by Ulsmann 
to the black powder obtained by passing seleniuretted hydrogen 
through a gold chloride solution. The presence of considerable 
quantities of selenium in the crude bullion of the Waihi mine 
in New Zealand and of the Radjang Lebong mine in Sumatra, 
and at Tonopah, Nevada, gives ground for a suggestion that the 
selenide of gold may be a natural salt, a suspicion strengthened 
by the natural occurrence of presumably analogous tellurides of gold. 

Chloride of Gold. The readiness with which the chlorides 
of gold may be prepared artificially has caused many to assume 
that it is in this form that gold is transported in nature. While 
this may be, and probably is true for the zone of surface-oxidising 
waters, in which the requisite acid waters, oxides, and chlorides, 
may readily be conceded to exist, it is difficult to understand how 
auriferous chlorides may be formed in the deeper-seated regions, 
and still more so to see how they can escape decomposition imme- 
diately upon formation in either region. The case for the existence 
of chlorides is well presented by Don, c and yet his own experiments d 
go to show that whatever the form in which gold exists in 

a Hoover, in verb. 

h Atherton, Eng. Min. Jour., LII, 1891, p. 698 ; Williams, ib., LIII, 1892, p. 451. 

c Trans. Am. Inst. M.E., XXVII, 1897, p. 599. 

d Loc. cit., p. 604. 


the deep-seated region, it is not as the chloride. Again, 
did it exist in sea-water or vadose waters as a definite chemical 
compound, it should, as pointed out by Lungwitz, a remain with 
the mother liquor after the common salt had crystallized out. 
But no gold has been reported from natural deposits from the 
mother liquor, such as those of Stassfurt, Lungwitz himself analysing 
50 pounds of carnallite without finding a trace of gold. On the 
other hand, Liversidge'' reports gold from a number of saline 
minerals, as sylvine, kainite, carnallite, and Chili saltpetre. The 
recent researches of Lane, c on the deep-seated waters contained 
within rocks obtained at great depths in the mines of Michigan, 
have shown that concentrated solutions of alkaline chlorides may 
exist far below the vadose region. In view of this determination the 
assumption of the general restriction of the possible chloride of gold 
to the vadose zone must be held to be subject at any time to revision. 
Auric chloride (Au Cl 3 ) when prepared in the laboratory may be 
either hydrated or anhydrous. The latter form occurs as highly 
deliquescent, deep red crystals, crystallizing in the triclinic system 
and melting at 288 C. Its density is 4-3. When heated it decom- 
poses to aurous chloride (Au CI) and chlorine. The decomposition 
is complete in three years at a temperature of 100 C, and under 
atmospheric pressure ; at a temperature of 200 C. only 36 hours 
are required to effect the same change.^ Solutions of gold chloride 
are readily decomposed by exposure to heat and sunlight, and also 
by carbonaceous matter, hydrogen sulphide, sulphurous acid, and 
other natural agents. 

Silicate of Gold. A possible salt of gold, to which, however, 
but little attention has been paid, is the silicate of gold. The 
existence of this salt was indicated by Bischoff, 6 who did not 
fail to indicate the bearing of the discovery on the question of the 
origin of auriferous veins. Liversidge/ reported that gold was 
dissolved by digestion in a solution of potassium or sodium 
silicate at a pressure of 90 pounds to the square inch. The silicates 
were further investigated by Cumenge// who experimented with 
an alkaline auro-silicate obtained by adding an alkaline aurate 
to an alkaline solution of sodium silicate (water glass). While 
Cumenge's experiments have been repeated and confirmed in the 

a Eng. and Min. Jour., April 6, 1905. 

6 Jour. Chem. Soc, LXXI, 1897, p. 298. 

c Amer. Geol., XXIV, 1904, p. 302. 

d Rose, T. K., " Metallurgy of Gold." London, 1902, p. 24. 

e Lehrb. Chem. Physik. Geol., Ill, 1866, pp. 843-6. 

/"Proc. Roy. Soc. N.S.W., XXVII, 1893, p. 303. 

ffFremy, Ency. Chem., vol. Ill, L'Or, p. 62. 


main by the writer, there is, nevertheless, little doubt that the 
red and blue solutions resulting from the decomposition of the 
presumed alkaline auro-silicate are solutions of colloidal gold 
and not of gold oxides, as suggested by Cumenge. 

Colloidal Gold. A new point of view in the consideration 
of the transportation and deposition of gold in silicate solutions 
is furnished by the researches of Schneider/' Zsigmondi,^ and others, 
on colloidal forms of gold. Uncompleted experiments made by the 
writer in 1901, on colloidal gold reduced from alkaline auro-silicates 
by addition of an acid, showed that the colloidal gold, when allowed 
to stand, exhibited a tendency to aggregate round indeterminate 
nuclei. When foreign substances, as metallic sulphides, were sus- 
pended in the jelly, reaction took place much more rapidly, and a 
clear zone, half an inch wide, of gelatinous silica represented the dis- 
tance to which the pyrites, now appreciably gilded, had deprived the 
jelly of its gold. Colloidal gold, like all other colloids, is, however, 
so readily coagulated by electrolytes (here including both acids 
and bases) even when no chemical interaction takes place, that 
its existence seems to be compatible only with the presence of 
pure water, a condition probably rarely existing in nature. Both 
colloidal gold and colloidal silica, moreover, if left to themselves, 
exhibit the phenomenon of " chemical after-effect," and change 
spontaneously to less soluble forms a change greatly accelerated 
by increase of temperature. On the whole, therefore, colloidal 
solutions requiring pure water and low temperatures cannot be 
supposed to play a prominent part in auriferous transportation. 

Ionised Gold. The development of the ionic theory of 
chemical reaction and equilibrium in solutions illuminates also the 
subject under present discussion. Since the free energy of the 
complex gold ions is nearly always greater than that of the elemen- 
tary aurion, or, in other words, since gold has a greater tendency 
to exist in elemental form in nature than as a compound, it seems 
reasonable to assume that the gold which is carried from place to 
place by underground waters is possibly in the elemental ionised 
form, viz., aurion. Ostwald,^ in discussing the question of the natural 
combination of acids and bases in natural waters, concludes : 
' The final answer to which we are led by the dissociation theory, 
is that the acids and bases are not combined at all, but that they 
or rather the ions of the salts lead separate existences, to which 

a Zeit. Anorg. Chem., V, 1893, p. 80. 

b Liebig's Annalen, CCC, 1898, pp. 29, 361. 

c Zsigmondi, " Zur Erkenntniss der Kolloide," Jena, 1905. 

d " Foundations of Analytical Chemistry," Eng. Ed., p. 213. 


the only limitation is the law that the sum total of the positive ions 
must be equivalent to the sum total of the negative." 

Next to the elementary aurion, a very complex ion appears to be 
the most stable of the gold ions, and hence, while gold is probably 
generally transported as aurion, it may be balanced in the vadose 
regions by chloridion, and in the regions of deeper underground 
circulation by sulphidion, or in the latter regions the ion may be 
thio-auranion, as in the alkaline thio-aurates M 2 Au S 2 , or 
auro-silicanion, as in the alkaline auro-silicates (M 2 Au Si 4 ), 
or in double salts corresponding to the members of the silicic acid 

As a matter of fact, the only natural water in which gold has 
yet definitely been determined is sea-water. Its existence there 
was foreshadowed by Forchammer, and confirmed by Sonstadt" 
in 1872. Quantitative experiments conducted by Liversidge on 
waters from the coast of New South Wales indicated a gold content 
of 0-5 to 1-0 grain of gold per ton. & Don's careful and exhaustive 
experiments (indeed the only researches yet conducted to solve 
the general questions of auriferous deposition) gave, however, on 
waters from New Zealand, a much smaller figure, viz., -071 grain 
gold per ton. 

In 1892, Munster c analysed the solid contents of the waters 
of the Kristiania Fjord, Norway, finding 5 to 6 milligrams gold, 
and 19 to 20 milligrams silver per metric ton. Wagoner^ found gold 
to the extent of 11-1 milligrams, and silver to 169-5 milligrams 
per metric ton in the waters of the Bay of San Francisco. Different 
methods of assay have been used by different chemists, and all are 
not of the same degree of accuracy. The variation shown above, 
nevertheless, probably arises from the great distances apart at 
which the materials for analysis were collected. 6 Liversidge con- 
cluded from his researches that Muntz metal (a copper-zinc alloy 
used for sheathing ships and pier piles) was capable of removing gold 
from sea-water./ 

ft Chem. News, XXV, 1872, pp. 196, 231, 241. 

h Trans. Roy. Soc. N.S.W., XXIX, 1895, p. 33."). 

c Jour. Soc. Chem. Ind., XI, 1892, p. 351. 

d Trans. Am. Inst. M.E., XXXI, 1901, p. 806. 

e See Weisler, " Ueber den Goldgehalt des Meer-wassers," Zeit. angew. Chem. 
1906, p. 1795. 

/ Loc. sit. sup. 



Auriferous veins or deposits may be of any form, may occur 
in any rock, and may have received their gold from various sources. 
Particular classifications based on obviously adventitious characters, 
as similarity of form of deposit, or identity of matrix or of associated 
minerals, can therefore serve no useful purpose, either scientific 
or economic. Such classifications have been current for many years. 
Some have certainly been suggestive, but the majority have helped 
the miner and prospector not a whit, and have proved a source 
of confusion and embarrassment to the student. In the grouping 
of the world's goldfields adopted in this treatise, no regard whatever 
has been paid to the lineal forms assumed by gold-quartz or other 
gold ores. The shape of a vein-deposit or of an ore-channel is 
dependent always either on the dynamic conditions prevailing 
antecedent to vein-filling, or on characters inherent in the enclosing 
rock or rocks, and problems affecting this question belong either 
to the mechanical region of geo-dynamics or to the chemical regions 
of solution, deposition, and metasomatism. In the case of gold, 
metasomatic criteria are few and of little value, since we are dealing 
with an element easily precipitated in metallic form and yielding 
few stable compounds. Nor may any serious consideration, 
from a classificatory point of view, be given to the problems afforded 
by the minerals generally found associated with gold in auriferous 
deposits, for those that may reasonably be assumed to possess 
genetic value are few in number and are universally associated. 
They may be sharply separated into two great divisions : (a) The 
metallic sulphide group, which may be extended to include the 
chemically allied metallic tellurides ; and (6) quartz. The members 
of the first group are so readily interchangeable that no subdivision 
is possible, and their connection with the problems of auriferous 
deposition must be regarded always from the group point of view 
rather than from the standpoint of the particular mineral {e.g., galena, 
pyrite, stibnite, &c). The gold of the sulphide group is nearly 
always refractory, and as already seen, is possibly, for the point 
is not capable of definite proof, in a state of combination as a 
sulphide. The visible free gold often found associated with sulphides 
may generally be considered to be due to the partial decomposition 
of the sulphides, or to the reducing effect of the latter on wandering 
auriferous solutions. The ores of the auriferous sulphide group 
may be deposited either in a quartz matrix or may be impregnated 
through ore-channels or through the country adjacent to fissures. 


The quartz-gold group is characterised by the general absence of 
sulphides of obvious relation to gold, and by the presence of free 
gold. In many cases, however, the broad separation of gold-deposits 
indicated above can not be held to be valid, for the free gold of some 
gold-quartz veins is certainly derived from adjacent sulphide-ores, 
and, moreover, solutions in the same vein may be so far influenced 
by the country-walls or by other local conditions as to furnish base 
sulphide deposits in one part and gold-quartz in another part 
of the fissure. This feature is exemplified both on a small and on a 
large scale in the goldfields of Eastern Australia. Veins on the 
Ravenswood and Etheridge goldfields in Queensland passing from 
igneous into sedimentary rocks, show a marked transition from 
pure sulphide veins in the former to gold-quartz with little auriferous 
pyrite in the latter. On the larger scale it may be noted that through- 
out the Eastern Australian gold-belt, from Horn Island in Torres 
Strait to Beaconsfield in Tasmania, gold-quartz veins occur in 
sedimentary rocks, and auriferous sulphide veins in igneous rocks. 
Exceptions on both sides do occur, but the exceptions are only 
apparent, and are nearly always capable of a local explanation. 
Regarded broadly, there is, as will be seen later, some reason for 
assuming a common origin for the gold of the various deposits of 
this belt, and the indicated difference in character may therefore be 
assumed to be due to the diverse geological nature of the respective 
country rocks in which the deposits occur. 

Auriferous Provinces. These associations, while certainly 
indicative of the conditions under which gold is transported and 
deposited, help us little in the search for the original host of the 
gold of the earth's surface. The most natural grouping of the 
world's gold-deposits appears to be reached by a combination of 
geographical and geological data, resulting in the establishment 
of fairly definite auriferous provinces, well separated from each 
other either in time or in space, or in both. The individual members 
of each group possess strong affinities that can hardly be coincidental. 
The classification here adopted is to be regarded as merely pre- 
liminary, for it must certainly be modified with progress in the 
knowledge of ore-deposits. Its general value is considered to lie 
largely in the fact that the differences between auriferous provinces, 
no less than their resemblances, are emphasized. Of the magmatic 
factors that have governed the association of gold with igneous 
magmas of the characters indicated, nothing is known, nor is 
anything certain with regard to the causes of extrusion or intrusion 
of these magmas at the earth's surface ; any speculations thereon 
must be of the vaguest. The writer is therefore at present content 
to submit the subjoined as the most natural grouping of auriferous 



























































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deposits, and offers no speculative comment on the internal and 
external relations of the groups indicated. 

Far greater regard is had to the character of the rock-magma 
with which the gold may reasonably be supposed to have had a 
genetic connection, than to the nature of the rock actually enclosing 
the deposit, for no great acquaintance with gold-deposits is necessary 
to render it abundantly apparent that gold will be deposited wherever 
physical and chemical conditions are suitable, irrespective of the 
nature of the walls of the fissure or cavity through which the 
auriferous solution happens at the time to be passing. A wide 
interpretation is everywhere given in this treatise to geological 
phenomena. For example, events so far separated in time as the 
first extrusion of an igneous magma and the solfataric action that, 
in the same region, accompanies the quieter or the final stages of 
volcanic activity, are, in the absence of detailed data, regarded as 
different phases of the same phenomenon. The Tertiary andesites 
of Cripple Creek, Colorado, and the geysers of the Yellowstone 
Park or, to take another case, the Upper Eocene andesites of the 
Hauraki Peninsula, New Zealand, and the hot springs of the central 
region of the North Island have each a common origin, and are 
respectively separated only in time and, to an unimportant degree, in 
space. Nor, in the same way, is much regard paid to " lateral 
secretion" or "ascension" hypotheses of origin of ores. In certain 
cases in igneous rocks, lateral secretion, even in its older and more 
restricted sense, may have furnished auriferous vein-filling ; in 
others in the same region the gold may have been brought from 
great depths, but yet has been derived from the lower portions of 
the same magma that furnished the intrusions or extrusions now 
at the surface. Between the lateral secretion deposit and the 
ascension deposit thus indicated, no logical distinction may be made. 
It has been assumed that all essential operations of ore-deposition 
are to be regarded as taking place in the outer 25 miles of the earth's 
crust, and it is believed that lateral secretion may operate anywhere 
within that shell, and also that ore-bearing waters may ascend from 
that and from lesser depths. 

A word may be said as to the use of the terms primary and 
secondary. They are, in an investigation of this nature, purely 
relative. The primary gold-deposits are those of which we know, 
for the gold, no prior state of combination and no former locus 
in space. They include the auriferous sulphides and tellurides, 
and many free-gold deposits. They may, indeed, have undergone 
many changes, and they may have, in a former geological age, 
appeared at or near the then existing surface, for sedimentary 
and igneous rocks containing gold-quartz veins and deposits may 
be depressed until they meet with a liquid or potentially liquid magma 



eating its way to the surface, or deeply-descending waters may 
carry downward gold in solution ; but without actual evidence 
of these agents, the resultant deposits must be regarded as primary. 
Secondary gold deposits are those obviously or presumably derived 
from sulphide or telluride ores or from gold-quartz veins. Examples 
of this form are found in the " sponge " and " mustard " gold of 
Kalgoorlie, and, indeed, in the greater quantity of free gold within 
the surface oxidised zones of veins. Secondary deposits may further 
be either of chemical origin, as the foregoing, or of mechanical origin, 
as the placer-gold of gravels. 



The primary rocks here dealt with are, next to, or perhaps with 
the fundamental gneisses, the oldest rocks that are available for 
examination. Partly owing to the conditions prevailing at the time 
of their deposition, and partly owing to their long subjection to 
metamorphic agencies that have tended to reduce originally 
physically and chemically differing rocks to a common facies, they 
show a remarkable petrological similarity wherever they have 
been examined, whether in north-west Scotland, North America, 
India, Australia, or South Africa. All the members have been 
schisted, many indeed, to such an extent as to render it now difficult 
to say whether they were originally igneous or sedimentary. Some 
schists, however, are clearly of igneous origin, and it is in the 
amphibolitic varieties of these schists that the oldest known 
auriferous deposits occur. The Archaean schists are of course 
unfossiliferous, and their correlation in widely separated areas 
can be performed only by means of petrological characters. Never- 
theless, these are often sufficiently akin to warrant a general grouping. 
The best defined group is probably that found bordering the Indian 
Ocean, furnishing the rich goldfields of Western Australia, India, 
and south-eastern Africa. These, though geographically widely 
separated, present so many points of similarity that a geological 
description of the various Archaean members and of their internal 
relations in any given region, would serve, with the mere change 
of place-names, for any other region of the group. The members 
are consequently believed to form a single petrological and metal- 
logenetic province. For this province the appellation Erythraean 
has been suggested. a 

a Maclaren, Trans. Inst. Min. Met., XVI, 1907, p. 15. 


In America a similar province is well defined in the Lake 
Superior region. There, however, its auriferous content is insig- 
nificant, and the province is characterised by its copper deposits 
rather than by its gold. Its southern prolongation is, however, 
marked by the long chain of goldfields that extends down the 
eastern slopes of the Appalachians, across the West Indies, and 
by way of the Guianas and Brazil to Tierra del Fuego. The possibly 
auriferous character of these Archaean schists is masked by a well- 
marked auriferous activity due to the intrusion of diabasic and 
dioritic dykes an activity which will be seen to be world- wide and 
will be described as such in later pages. These two great provinces, 
the Erythraean and the Appalachian, may be said to include all 
the Archaean schist goldfields of the world, though it may be 
necessary with increase of knowledge to widen the group to include 
the auriferous schists of south-eastern Siberia ; the sporadic 
Archaean occurrences of South Dakota, Arizona, &c, are to be 
regarded merely as outliers of the longitudinal chain of the Eastern 

India. Dealing more in detail with the various members of 
the Archaean group, those of India, where the relations are especially 
well marked, may first be considered. The Dharwars or Archaean 
schists of India are typically developed in Southern India, where 
they extend as long narrow bands, with small outliers, from the 
Bombay Presidency and the Nizam's Dominions southward through 
the Mysore State. 

The series is a complex aggregate of highly metamorphosed 
rocks." Among the more easily recognisable sedimentary rocks 
are boulder-beds or conglomerates, pebbly grits, quartzites, lime- 
stones, argillites, and chloritic schists. The boulders of the boulder- 
beds are embedded in a chloritic schist matrix, and are rarely 
sufficiently closely aggregated to deserve the term conglomerate. 
This state of aggregation is highly characteristic of the coarser 
Archaean sedimentaries, and has been assumed by some geologists 
to denote glacial origin. The feature is, however, paralleled in the 
great fan-like deposits of many existing tropical rivers (e.g., 
the Brahmaputra) at their debouchure from the mountains 
on the plains, and running water is therefore considered to 
have been quite competent to form these ancient boulder- 
beds. The quartzites are in places metamorphosed into quartz- 
schists. With them are occasionally associated limestones, but 
these are not abundant. By far the most characteristic rock of 
the Archaean group, and one always associated with the sedimentary 
members of the series, is a well-banded, generally much contorted, 

a Maclaren, Rec. Geol. Surv. India, XXXIV, 1906, p. 96. 

INDIA. 49 

hsematite-magnetite-quartz rock of obscure origin. It has been 
thought to arise from silicification along shearing planes, but it may 
most reasonably be regarded as due to the metamorphism of ferru- 
ginous silicate and carbonate bands in depth, with resultant con- 
version into ferric oxides and silica. Depression of banded ferru- 
ginous clays and sands should eventually yield under the given 
conditions a rock of this nature. 

The members of the Dharwars derived from igneous rocks are 
mica-schists, hornblende-schists, certain chloritic schists, amphi- 
bolites, felsites, and quartz-porphyries, representing probably a 
succession of fairly basic to acid rocks such as may be met with in 
many a younger volcanic region. Some of the hornblendic schists 
retain sufficient of the primary structure to indicate their original 
diabasic nature, while in certain light-coloured varieties the ophitic 
structure is so clear that the rocks may fairly be termed diabase- 
schists. Where the hornblende-schists have been influenced by 
the intrusion of younger granites, they locally lose their schistose 
structure, and by reconstitution of their fragmentary felspars and 
hornblendes, assume an apparently normal dioritic habit. This 
change, to which reference will again be made, has an important 
bearing upon the occurrence of metallic gold in seemingly unmeta- 
morphosed igneous rocks. 

Two periods of vein formation and auriferous deposition are 
observable in the Dharwar rocks. The older, with which we are 
presently concerned, is to be associated with the period of the 
general dynamic metamorphism of the Dharwars, and finds ex- 
pression in the veins of bluish grey and bluish black quartz that 
furnish the gold of the Kolar field in Mysore, and of the Hutti field 
in the Nizam's Dominions. Microscopic sections of this quartz, 
especially from the Hutti mine, show that it has been subjected 
to much of the djTiamic stress that has affected the enclosing rock. 
Its structure is decidedly schistose, and its dark colour is often due, 
not to impurities, but to total internal reflection from strain surfaces. 
Its gold is nearly always internal certain evidence of contem- 
poraneous deposition of gold and of silica. The gold-quartz 
occurs in ; ' shoots," those of the Kolar vein furnishing probably 
the best examples known of this form of auriferous disposition. 

Western Australia. To the Archaean rocks must be rele- 
gated the ;c Auriferous Series ' : of Western Australia. As in 
Southern India, gneissoid granites are believed to represent the 
fundamental rocks of the country. On this floor has been laid 
the great series of rocks to which the general field term " greenstone 
schists " has fitly been applied. So far as the schists have been 
examined, they have been found to consist in the main of amphi- 



bolitic and hornblendic members, certainly derivative from igneous 
rocks. Near the younger granitic rocks, the hornblende-schists 
are occasionally so far reconstituted as to form diorites. Mica- 
schists, talc-schists, chlorite-schists, and siderite-schists also occur, 
but the most striking rock here, as in India, is the banded haematite- 
magnetite-quartz rock which runs for great distances parallel 
with the foliation and direction of the main schistose belts, 
and furnishes the saw-toothed and serrated ridges that occupy 
such a prominent position in a greenstone-schist area. On the 
Kalgoorlie goldfield, where the rocks have been most closely 
examined, in addition to the prevailing amphibolites and horn- 
blende-schists that carry the auriferous lodes, there also occurs a 
series of sedimentary rocks ranging from soft shales and sandstones 
to slates and quartzites. The first are often highly graphitic, and 
then contain, as might be expected, numerous nodules and crystals 
of iron pyrites. Two distinct forms of auriferous deposit in these 
rocks may be referred to the Archaean period : (a) " lode forma- 
tions," and (b) quartz veins. The former are the most important 
loci of gold in the State, and are especially well developed 
at Kalgoorlie, Kanowna, and Peak Hill. ; ' Lode formations ' : are 
merely zones of rock impregnated with fine gold and with tellurides 
of gold. They merge insensibly into barren solid rock on either 
side, and are probably belts of sheared and fissured rocks, through 
which mineral solutions, liquid or gaseous, or both, have had free 
passage. They have naturally no well-defined walls, and their 
limits are determined solely by their assay values. 

Quartz veins are responsible for the gold on the majority of 
Western Australian goldfields, and may reasonably be divided 
into two classes blue and white. No clear distinction as to their 
age has yet been made, but the white veins appear to be the younger, 
since they cut through and mineralize many of the banded 
haematitic quartzites. a The white veins will again be referred to 
when dealing with the later (Pre-Cambrian) period of auriferous 
deposition in Western Australia. The majority of the older quartz 
veins occupy shearing planes parallel with the plane of foliation, 
and within a given zone the country may be so thoroughly traversed 
by them as to form, with connecting leaders, a stockwork. The 
more massive veins are characterised by the assumption of a lenti- 
cular habit. The characteristic minerals of the chief Western 
Australian goldfield are the tellurides of gold. 

South Africa. The Archaean rocks of South Africa show 
many features in common with the Dharwars of India, and with the 
Auriferous Series of Western Australia. The Barberton Series, 

a Maitland, Ann. Rep. West Aust. Geol. Surv., 1902, p. 16. 


perhaps best developed in Swaziland, resembles very strongly the 
sedimentary members of the Dharwars. Like them, the charac- 
teristic rocks are chloritic schists, talc-schists, argillites, and the 
ever-present banded haematite-quartz rock, which here as elsewhere 
stands out in bold relief, forming the mountain ridges. To be 
correlated with these ancient rocks are the series of schists described 
by Drs. Hatch and Corstorphine as underlying the Witwatersrand 
Series in the Bezuidenhout Valley. a The Barberton Series of 
Swaziland is carried northwards to the Murchison Range, where 
the schists are chloritic, talcose, amphibolitic, and quartzitic. The 
auriferous reefs are there associated with the hornblendic schists. h 
Still further north, in Rhodesia, and obviously connected with the 
Swaziland schists, are the Buluwayo schists of Mennell, which in 
the main probably represent basic igneous intrusions. Here also, 
the banded hsematite-quartz rock is a dominant feature in the 
physiography of the region. The ancient metamorphic schists of 
Zululand and Natal are grouped by Anderson with the Barberton 
Series of Swaziland, as, indeed, may also be the highly metalliferous 
schists of Namaqualand, which have very characteristic diabasic 
and amphibolitic members. These rocks have for German South 
West Africa been relegated by Voit to the Archaean.'* 

Except in Rhodesia, the Archaean schists of South Africa are 
not in themselves of economic importance. The rich gold-veins 
and deposits they contain are generally to be referred to a later 
(Pre-Cambrian) period than that of their general metamorphism, 
and will hence be dealt with under their proper head. 

Appalachian Fields. These He along the outcrop of the 
Archaean schists of Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina, and North 
Carolina. The Archaean series contain both sedimentary and 
igneous members. Representative of the former is the Talladega 
(Algonkian) Series of Alabama, consisting of slates, quartzites, 
conglomerates, and dolomites. The igneous series is a complex of 
green schists, basic schists, diorites, and gneisses. The "green 
schists " are composed in the main of actinolite, epidote, and chlo- 
rite, together with some quartz ; they have been grouped as 
chlorite-epidote schists, actinolite-epidote schists, and chlorite 
schists. It is difficult to determine exactly the nature of the original 
rock, but it was certainly a basic eruptive. e The semi-crystalline 
slates of the Goldville region contain great quantities of limonite 

a Trans. Geol. Soc. S. Africa, VII, p. 98. 

& Merensky, Min. Jour., 1905, p. 629. 

c 2nd Rep. Geol. Surv., Natal, 1901, p. 11. 

d Trans. Geol. Soc. S.A., VII, p. 77. 

e Clement and Brooks, Bull. 5, Alabama Geol. Surv., 1896. 


pseudomorphous after pyrite. Tetradymite accompanies the gold at 
King's Mountain, North Carolina, while the deposits near Dahlonega, 
Georgia, contain tellurides of gold. Eckel's examination of the gold 
mines of the latter region showed that the veins all occurred at 
contacts between the soft mica-schists and igneous rocks, either 
altered schistose diorite (amphibolite) or massive granite. a 

The schists of the Appalachian goldfields stretch away to the 
north, and appear to be associated with the classic greenstone- 
schists of the Lake Superior region. These are again auriferous in 
the Rainy Lake region, where veins occur in the Coutchiching 
and Keewatin schists and run parallel with the schistosity. & 
In the Lake of the Woods region, the veins are mainly in the Kee- 
watin schists, though gold-quartz also occurs in the adjacent 
granites. The auriferous deposition here, however, appears to be 
associated with intruded diabasic dykes, c and must therefore be 
referred to the second or Pre-Cambrian period of auriferous 

South Dakota. In the Black Hills, South Dakota, there lies 
a belt of highly-metamorphosed Archaean schists impregnated 
with auriferous pyrites and containing numerous lenticular masses 
of gold-bearing quartz. The best-known example of lodes in these 
rocks is the Homestake, where a portion of the gold is obtained 
from a deposit formed along a schistose zone by an aggregation of 
veinlets containing free gold and low-grade pyrite. The total gold 
yield for the nineteenth century of these American Archaean rocks, 
and of their Pre-Cambrian enrichments yet to be described, was 
about 28,000,000 sterling.** 

Brazil. The rocks of all the foregoing Archaean areas are so 
similar that, did they lie in comparative proximity, they would un- 
hesitatingly be grouped together as a single formation. There are 
other ancient schistose rocks, as the auriferous schists of the Minas 
Geraes province, Brazil, that are doubtfully to be grouped under this 
head. The age of the Brazilian rocks is uncertain, and they have been 
variously referred to the Archaean and to the Cambrian. The 
fundamental rocks are granite and gneiss, and these are overlain 
by a series of schistose rocks. The series in ascending order is 
micaceous and talcose schist, quartzite, argillaceous schist, itabirite 
with jacutinga (sandy micaceous iron ore), limestone, and the 
upper micaceous schist. 6 All, with the exception of the limestone, 

a Bull. U.S. Geol. Surv., No. 213, 1903, p. 57. 
6 Geol. Surv. Minnesota, XXIII, 1895, pp. 35, 105. 
c Trans. Amer. Inst. M.E., XXVI, 1896, p. 856. 
^Lindgren, Trans. Amer. Inst. M.E., XXXIII, 1903, p. 801. 
e Scott, Trans. Amer. Inst. M.E., XXXIII, 1903, p. 409. 


are more or less auriferous. The chief forms of deposit are (a) 
lodes in the schist, (6) contact lodes, and (c) auriferous lines of- 
jacutinga in the itabirite. The lodes in schist are the most numerous. 
They are characteristically lenticular, and dip and strike with the 
foliation. The gold is generally associated with mispickel and 
pyrrhotite. The contact lodes are also lenticular masses of quartz 
intercalated between the itabirites and the underlying quartzites 
or argillaceous schists. To this class belong the Passagem and 
the Morro Santa Anna lodes. The Passagem lode contains a con- 
siderable amount of kaolinized felspar, and has hence been con- 
sidered by Hussak a and Derby b as a pegmatite apophysis rather 
than as a true quartz vein. The rapidly increasing number of 
occurrences c reported of both orthoclase and albite as vein-filling 
from undoubted aqueous solutions advise considerable caution in 
the complete acceptance of this determination. The jacutinga 
auriferous deposits are now of but little importance. The celebrated 
Morro Velho mine lies in a zone of highly-sheared calc-schist.^ 
The auriferous sulphides are arsenopyrite, pyrrhotite, chalcopyrite, 
and pyrite, with a gangue of siderite, dolomite, and calcite, with 
very subordinate quartz and albite felspar. The last also occurs 
as crystals in the vughs. 

The outstanding feature in the descriptions of the Brazilian 
occurrences is the absence, with one exception, of all mention in 
the literature accessible to the writer, of igneous intrusions, and 
these, indeed, appear to be generally absent from the district. e 
The exception is found in a description of the auriferous occurrences 
of Rapasos,/ in which it is stated that the schistose rocks are 
traversed by two diabase dykes and that the ore-bearing solutions 
are to be considered as associated with these diabase eruptions. It 
is true also, as already seen, that Hussak demands for the Passagem 
lode an igneous origin. 

Nothing is at present known of the geological relations of the 
auriferous schists of Southern Chili and of Tierra del Fuego. 

New Zealand. Another ancient schistose area in which 
igneous intrusions have not been found occurs in the Otago province, 
South Island of New Zealand. While numerous gold veins have 
been worked in these rocks, their importance arises from the fact 
that they have furnished the great alluvial auriferous deposits of 

a Zeit. fur Prakt. Geol, Oct., 1898, p. 395. 

b Trans. Amer. Inst. M.E., XXXIII, 1903, p. 283. 

c Lindgren, Econ. Geol., I, 1905, p. 163. 

d Derby, loc. cit,, p. 284. 

e But see in this connection Orville Derby, Amer. Jour. Sci., XI. 1901, p. 34. 

/Berg, Zeit. fur Prakt, Geol., 1902, p. 82. 


Otago. These schists are obviously of sedimentary origin, and range 
from phyllites to chlorite- and quartz-schists. a There is no direct 
internal evidence of their age, but they are probably very much 
younger than Archaean. They are even ascribed to the Carboni- 
ferous or Devonian. 6 While there is a possibility that these 
schists have obtained their vein-gold by lateral secretion from 
contemporaneously deposited alluvial gold, there is yet reason to 
believe that auriferous deposition in Otago, as on the West 
Coast of New Zealand, may be genetically connected with the 
granite rocks intruded during the Middle Mesozoic uplift of the 
Southern Alps. Other auriferous schists of indefinite age and of 
as yet unknown relations are those furnishing the placer deposits 
of Alaska and of Eastern Siberia. 


The auriferous deposits to be grouped under this head are 
nearly all contained in the Archaean schists already described. In 
all cases it would appear that the auriferous solutions have been set 
in circulation by diabasic flows and intrusions, but not even a guess 
may be made as to whether the gold was brought to its present 
position by the uprising diabasic magma or whether the diabasic and 
dioritic intrusions found the schists already auriferous and served 
only as carriers of heat and of solvent vapours. While the deposits 
are generally contained within the Archaean schists, notable excep- 
tions, as in Western Australia (Nullagine) and South Africa (Wit- 
watersrand), occur when younger porous strata, as conglomerates, 
offer ready passage to the auriferous solutions. Following the 
order adopted in the preceding section, the Indian occurrences will 
first be detailed. 

India. Throughout the whole Dharwarian Series, as well as 
through the adjacent crystalline rocks, there ramify numerous 
diabasic and doleritic dykes, that, showing no schistose structure 
and no trace whatever of deformation, are certainly later than the 
period of the final metamorphism of the enclosing rock. These 
dykes are to be correlated with certain lava flows in the Cheyair 
group of the Lower Cuddapah system. 

The Cuddapahs are unfossiliferous, and little evidence is 
available to indicate their exact stratigraphical position. They are, 
however, generally considered to be Pre-Cambrian, and hence this age 
must also be assigned to the great diabasic outburst which set 
auriferous solutions once more circulating through the long-closed 

a Hutton, Trans. N.Z. Inst., XXIV, 1891, p. 359. 
h Park, Bull. Xo. 5, N.Z. Geo!. Surv., 1908, p. 28. 

INDIA. 55 

waterways of the Dharwars. Veins of Pre-Cambrian age occur mainly 
in argillites and chloritic schists. They are best exemplified in the 
Gadag belt and the Dharwar belt proper, and are characterised 
by a white quartz and a disposition of the veins in accordance with 
the foliation of the country. The quartz lenses in the Gadag area 
are often connected by graphitic lode-formations, and the main 
Gadag reef system lies within a highly carbonaceous band in the 
argillites. In many cases, as at Kolar and at Hutti (Nizam's 
Dominions), the older Archaean fissures were re-opened, and we 
thus find the older blue and the younger white quartz lying side by 
side in the same fissure. The blue quartz has already been seen 
to show under the microscope evidences of considerable dynamic 
pressure. The white quartz, on the other hand, shows, in thin 
sections, no trace of schistose structure and no further strain 
phenomena than are normal in the quartz of undisturbed veins. The 
auriferous veins of Chota Nagpur, the northern Dharwar area of 
India, are, so far as they have been examined, small and poor. They, 
however, fall in this division, and are to be associated with a great 
dioritic dyke very similar to those already described, and which, 
known as the Dulma Trap, sweeps in an arc of a circle through 
the Singhbhum Division. a 

Western Australia. In Western Australia the same general 
stratigraphical conditions obtain as in India. There also the green- 
stone schists are intruded by numerous, often parallel, diabasic and 
doleritic dykes. These, as in India, are generally vertical or nearly 
so. In addition to the basic intrusions, there are also found a great 
number of acidic dykes which may be regarded as apophyses from 
the younger granites, and which range from granites through 
aplites to a rock which may almost be termed a quartz vein.^ It 
is of considerable importance to note that these acidic dykes are 
themselves barren, and that they appear to have had no effect 
whatever on auriferous deposition. In the Pilbara goldfield, a 
northern district, and one displaying the" most instructive section 
of all the West Australian goldfields, the steeply-inclined schists 
are overlain by a fairly horizontal series of sandstones, grits, 
conglomerates, and thin limestones associated with amygdaloidal 
diabases and felsites, as their basal members. To this series 
the term Nullagine Beds has been given. The presence of the 
amygdaloidal diabase may afford a clue to the age of the 
basic intrusive dykes of the " Auriferous Series." The mineralising 
influence of the diabasic dykes is well marked on the northern gold- 

a Maclaren, Rec. Geol. Surv. India, XXXI, 1905, p. 74. 
h Jackson, W.A. Geol. Surv., Bui!. 3, p. 21. 
c Maitland, W.A. Geol. Surv., Bull. 15, 1904. 


fields, where the characteristic laminated hsematite-magnetite- 
quartz rocks are extensively developed. These latter are not 
innately auriferous, and it is only where they are crossed by basic 
dykes, by faults, or by cross veins, that they carry gold, and then 
only for a few feet on either side of the intersection, forming 
narrow " shoots " in the quartzite bands. a 

The white quartz veins of these fields are also apparently to be 
connected with the diabasic intrusions, since, like them, they cut 
through and mineralize many of the laminated quartzites. & To 
the same age and to the same influence may perhaps be assigned 
the auriferous character of the conglomerates of the Nullagine 
district. These apparently furnish a very close parallel in mode of 
formation to the famous banket reefs of the Rand. They have 
been described by Maitland c as forming the Mosquito Creek Beds 
towards, or at the base of, the Nullagine Series. The auriferous 
conglomerates occur in lenticular masses and contain gold both in 
thin white quartz veins which are parallel with the bedding planes, 
and also interspersed through the matrix of the conglomerate. The 
veins, as might be expected, are much richer than the conglomerate 
matrix, the former averaging 2-82 ozs. and the latter only .62 
ozs. per ton. 

South Africa. In South Africa, numerous diabasic dykes 
break through the Barberton Series, and some of these have, at 
Barberton itself, exercised a notable influence on auriferous de- 
position, furnishing in the Barberton laminated quartzites well- 
marked " shoots " d akin to those of Western Australia. To this 
period of auriferous, activity we may now reasonably ascribe the 
infiltration and auriferous impregnation of the Rand ' banket." 
The stratigraphy of the Witwatersrand series has been fully 
discussed/ Excepting that they are much younger than the Swazi- 
land schists and older than the Devonian rocks of the Cape System, 
little can be said of their geological horizon. The Rand Beds con- 
sist, briefly, of quartzites, slates, and conglomerates. Of these, the 
striped and contorted bands, in the Hospital Hill Beds, of alternating 
layers of jasper, quartz, specular iron, and magnetite f are strongly 
reminiscent of similar beds in the Pre-Cambrian Bijawars of India. 
In the present connection, however, by far the most important 
geological feature is the occurrence of numerous uralitic diabase 

a Maitland, Ann. Rep. W. A. Geo]. Surv., 1903, p. 10. 

b Idem, loc. cit., 1902, p. 16. 

c Report quoted Aust. Mining Standard, Oct. 25, 1905, p. 399. 

d Trans. Geol. Soc. S.A., VI, Pt. I, 1904, p. 56. 

e Hatch and Corstorphine, " Geology of South Africa," London, 1905. 

/"Hatch and Corstorphine, Trans. Geol. Soc. S.A., VII, 1905, p. 98. 


dykes ramifying throughout the auriferous series, and of sheets 
of diabase, often amygdaloidal, which occur at various horizons in 
the system, and are especially well developed in the Eastern Rand. 
The period of auriferous infiltration of the Witwatersrand System 
would seem to be very definitely limited by the occurrence in the 
overlying Ventersdorp System of occasionally auriferous conglo- 
merate boulders " unmistakably derived from the Witwatersrand 
Beds."" There is, as already stated, at present no evidence to indicate 
whether the gold of the auriferous solutions was derived from the 
diabasic magma or was dissolved from the presumably underlying 
Archaean schists such as those already described as occurring close 
to the Rand in the Bezuidenhout Valley. The latter assumption 
is considered the more probable, but the question must remain an 
academic one until assays for minute quantities of gold in the dia- 
bases of the area have been made. Even then, absence of gold from 
fresh diabase will not conclusively prove that they were not 
accompanied by auriferous solutions. 

Corroborative evidence of the close genetic relation existing in 
the Transvaal region between diabasic intrusions and auriferous 
deposition is furnished by the Lydenburg and other goldfields lying 
along the eastern escarpment of the High Veld. Here diabase 
sills have been intruded along the almost horizontal bedding planes 
of the sedimentary rocks (mainly dolomite). Siliceous solutions, 
apparently set in circulation by the igneous intrusions, have, along 
flat fissures in the neighbourhood of the diabase sheets, acted on and 
metasomatically replaced the calcareous rock, with attendant 
deposition of gold. 

In Egypt also, an area which may be regarded as furnishing 
the most northerly portion of the East African Archaean band, there 
is an apparent, though not a certain connection between Pre- 
Cambrian diabasic or dioritic intrusions and auriferous deposition. 
The little evidence available regarding the gold-deposits of West 
Africa hardly permits of speculation. 

America. Turning now to the Archaean schists of Eastern 
America, we are confronted with identical phenomena. Dykes of 
diabase, little, if at all metamorphosed, are present in some of the 
gold-mining districts of North Carolina, and have obviously had 
a considerable influence on ore-deposition. In South Carolina, 
the Haile is one of the best-known mines. The country rock is 
a muscovite-schist that, according to Becker, & is an altered Archaean 
volcanic rock. It is intruded by numerous diabase dykes, which 
cut through the rock without any apparent dislocation. For some 

a Loo. cit. sup., p. 149. 

6 16th Ann. Rep. U.S. Geol. Surv., Pt. Ill, 1895, p. 262. 


distance from the dykes, the muscovite-schist has been very com- 
pletely metamorphosed. The metamorphosed zones have been 
thoroughly impregnated with auriferous pyrites, which sometimes 
forms layers, 4 inches to 6 inches thick, along the surfaces of contact. 
Mining is carried on in the impregnated schists, the only defined 
boundary of the deposit being formed by the dyke, whilst the 
thickness of the deposit is determined solely by its economic value, 
since it is worked only as far from the dyke as can be done with 
profit. The Brewer mine, a few miles away, has a similar wall rock. 
Lindgren," however, points out that the auriferous veins of Dahlonega, 
Ga., are in genetic connection, not with diabase, but with acid 
aplitic intrusive rocks. It would therefore appear that the heat 
of the igneous rock, rather than the nature of the igneous rock 
itself, has been the controlling factor in the formation of gold- 
deposits of this type. 

Ontario. In the Lake of the Woods region, Ontario, which may 
be regarded as the most northerly extension of the Appalachian 
belt, diabase dykes in a greenstone- or diabase-schist are found 
intimately connected with the origin, if not with the mineral contents, 
of some of the veins. & 

Colorado. The Pre-Cambrian schists of the Gunnison gold 
belt, Colorado, are hornblendic rather than micaceous. They are 
occasionally penetrated by dykes of dark diabase. 

Nova Scotia. These goldfields have been tentatively grouped 
by Lindgren with the Archaean Appalachian schist deposits already 
described, but a consideration of their relations seems to bring 
them most naturally to this place. The auriferous sedimentary rocks 
are highly pyritous slates and quartzites, sandstones, and con- 
glomerates. Gold-quartz veins also occur in the older schist 
further east, near Bras d'Or Lake, Cape Breton Island. Their 
age is not clear, and may be Cambrian or even Pre-Cambrian. 
From the occurrence of auriferous quartz pebbles in a Lower 
Carboniferous conglomerate, mineralisation is believed to have 
taken place prior to that period. The sedimentary rocks are every- 
where intruded by granite, and this rock constitutes much of the 
surface of the auriferous area. Occasional fissure veins are met 
with, but the general type of vein is one that closely follows the 
foldings of the slates and, indeed, resembles closely the 
'saddle reefs" of Bendigo. The gangue is quartz with a little 

"Bull. U.S. Geol. Surv., Xo. 293, 1906, p. 124. 
h Trans. Am. Inst. M.E., XXVI, 1896, p. 850. 
c Ib., p. 440. 

GUI AX AS. 59 

calcite. The veins contain auriferous pyrites, mispickel, and rarely 
galena and blende. 

Guianas. A well-defined auriferous province extends from 
the Yaruari basin, immediately south of the Orinoco river in 
Venezuelan Guiana, through British, Dutch, and French Guiana 
to the " Disputed Territory " of Brazil, lying north of the Amazon. 
Owing probably to the unhealthiness of the country and to the 
dense jungle with which the region is covered, few gold-quartz veins 
of importance are known. El Callao in Venezuela, and the Peters 
mine in British Guiana are the only two of economic value. The 
placer deposits of the region, however, furnish considerable quan- 
tities of gold. Everywhere throughout this territory auriferous 
deposition in situ has shown a marked dependence on diabasic 
and dioritic intrusions, and in many cases the igneous rocks them- 
selves have been proved to be slightly auriferous, though it is 
not clear whether the gold thus found is authigenic or has been 
introduced in association with pyrite at a later date. 


All the goldfields to be considered under this head lie either 
in andesite rocks or in rocks very closely allied genetically and 
petrographically to normal basic (augitic) andesites, or else in 
igneous or sedimentarv rocks in the vicinity of such andesitic 
intrusions. Their range petrologically may include rocks as acid 
as quartz-trachytes, and the term andesitic is selected merely 
as denoting the general type. The range in geological time is from 
Eocene to Pliocene with a special, though perhaps merely coin- 
cidental, development in the Oligocene and Miocene. A glance 
at the world's andesitic goldfields will show how remarkably 
closely they follow the existing lines of -volcanic activity on the 
earth's surface ; the " Pacific Circle of Fire ' is likewise a circle 
of andesitic goldfields. Andesitic goldfields are sporadically dis- 
tributed from Valparaiso northwards through the Andes ; they 
attain extraordinary richness in Mexico and the Western States 
of America, and especially in Xevada, Utah, and Colorado. A 
break occurs in British Columbia, but the line is again taken up on 
Unga Island in Alaska." In the Western Pacific, the corresponding 
line is run by the extensive andesitic goldfields of Japan, through 
similar fields in Sumatra and Celebes. 6 

ft Lindgren, Trans. Amer. Inst. M.E., XXXIII, p. 806. 
^Truscott, Trans. Inst. Min. Met.. X. p. 52-73. 


The auriferous andesitic occurrences of Kyoukpazat in Burma 
and of Talan, in Yunnan, are to be regarded as sporadic along 
meridional lines of Miocene folding that are parallel with, or only 
slightly divergent from, the main direction of the lines of crustal 
weakness passing from Formosa to Borneo. 

The rich andesitic goldfield of New Zealand may be considered 
to mark the southern limit of the chain of goldfields in the Western 
Pacific. The rare occurrences of gold in the Fiji Islands may also 
owe their origin to Tertiary andesitic influences. All the world's 
andesitic goldfields, with one notable exception, are on the " circle." 
The exception is the Transylvanian and similar Hungarian gold- 
fields ; their andesites, erupted during the Aquitanian stage, are 
clearly to be referred to the lines of crustal weakness first developed 
in Southern Europe in the Oligocene, and now indicated by the 
active volcanoes of the Mediterranean. The outstanding features 
of the andesitic type of goldfield are therefore its modernity and its 
consequent direct connection with existing volcanic phenomena. 

All andesitic goldfields present a well-defined and uniform 
facies. The andesite or allied rock has, under the influence of 
solfataric agencies, and by the breaking up of its felspars and ferro- 
magnesian silicates, been converted to " propylite," in which the 
ferro-magnesian silicates have given place to chlorite and epidote, 
and the felspars to quartz, chlorite, and epidote. 

It has generally been assumed that solfataric action is an 
end-product of volcanic energy ; while this may be, and probably 
is true for local outbursts, it is certainly not so when the whole 
Tertiary field of vulcanism is considered, for solfataric action can 
be shown to have persisted concomitantly with the effusion of lavas, 
whether of normal or of extreme types. From our present point 
of view, however, the only important solfataric action has been 
that which succeeded the extrusion of the augite-andesite lavas, 
and this, so far from occurring towards the end of the period of 
volcanic activity, took place relatively soon after the commence- 
ment. There, therefore, lies in this feature a weighty objection to 
the hypothesis of J. E. Spurr, a in which highly siliceous solutions 
(forming quartz veins) and metalliferous solutions (furnishing the 
filling of the quartz veins) are considered the end-products of the 
segregation of magmas within the earth's interior. While auriferous 
deposition would appear to have been most wide-spread in Miocene 
time, the solfataric action that contributed towards it existed before 
that period and has persisted to the present day, as is evidenced 
by the metalliferous deposits of the Steamboat Springs in Nevada, 

a Econ. Geol., II, 1907, p. 781. 


and by the auriferous deposits of the geysers of New Zealand, 
both occurrences being in well propylitised andesitic provinces, 
with andesite lavas at least as old as the Miocene period. 

The matrix of the gold of the andesitic fields is generally 
quartz. The bullion is invariably, when of primary deposition, 
of low grade, and, especially when associated with calcite in veins, 
is often crystallized. Tellurides of gold and silver, though not 
restricted to the andesitic goldfields, are characteristic of them. The 
associates of the gold in rude order of value as " indicators " are : 
galena, stibnite, argentite, stephanite, proustite, pyrargyrite, 
chalcopyrite, nagyagite, sylvanite, native arsenic, pyrite, and, 
more rarely, zinc blende, grey copper, bournonite, realgar, and 
orpiment. Andesitic goldfields, as a rule (to which there are, 
however, several notable exceptions), are characterised by the 
irregularity of the gold-veins both in value and in extent, the 
economic value often depending entirely on very local enrichments. 

The general distribution of the andesitic goldfields may be 
considered in detail, and a few of the more important selected for 
description as typical. The coincidence of these goldfields with 
the lines of volcanic activity that border the Pacific Ocean has 
already been indicated. Assuming for the moment that auriferous 
solutions are a product of andesitic magmas, as the general connection 
might well indicate, it is difficult to account for the sporadic and 
irregular distribution of goldfields within andesitic zones. A 
consideration of the regional distribution of andesitic goldfields 
and of more ancient auriferous deposits suggests two alternative 
inferences ; either that auriferous andesites may themselves be a 
rechauffee of older auriferous rocks, metamorphic or sedimentary ; 
or that they may have obtained their gold during the passage of 
their solfataric waters through older auriferous rocks. In either case 
the gold cannot be considered of direct magmatic origin, and 
andesites, under such an assumption, are auriferous only when 
underlying or adjacent rocks have carried gold. From this point 
of view, therefore, andesitic magmas are to be regarded merely 
as heat carriers. 

South America. To the southward range of these fields along 
the Andes of South America it is impossible to place any definite 
limit ; they appear to reach at least as far south as the latitude of Val- 
paraiso (33S. Lat.). The associated rocks are there, however, liparitic 
(rhyolitic) rather than andesitic. To the north, in Peru and Ecuador, 
and to a lesser degree in Colombia, the goldfields are widely scattered 
and the veins are .notable for their silver content rather than for 
their gold. In any case little definite geological information is 

a Maclaren, Geol. Mag., Dec. 5, III, 1906, p. 514. 


available concerning them. Perhaps the first of the typical andesite 
fields reached proceeding northwards is the formerly world-famed 
Espritu Santo mine, in the Isthmus of Darien. 

Numerous veins occur in the western portions of the Central 
American republics of Panama, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Salvador, 
and Guatemala. 

North America. It is in the great Miocene petrographical 
province mentioned as ranging northward through Western North 
America from Mexico that auriferous andesitic veins attain their 
greatest development. Of the great number of goldfields in these 
rocks, three fairly typical areas : Pachuca in Mexico, Comstock in 
Nevada, and Cripple Creek in Colorado, may briefly be described. 

Paehuca. The Sierra Pachuca lies to the north-east of the 
City of Mexico. The basement rocks are non-fossiliferous Cretaceous 
sediments which, during the Middle Tertiary, were broken and 
upheaved by tectonic disturbances, and were covered by andesites 
and dacites, with tuffs and breccias, rhyolites, and finally, basalts. 
The andesites are mainly pyroxenic, and are sometimes diabasic. a 
It is in the andesitic rocks alone that the metalliferous veins are 
developed. The gangue is quartz with occasional later and subor- 
dinate calcite, rhodonite, and rhodochrosite. The associates of 
the gold are argentite, pyrite, galena, zinc blende, stephanite, 
and polybasite. The country rock here, as in all auriferous andesitic 
areas that have undergone propylitization, contains much secondary 
pyrite, while, near the vein, the country is generally much silicified. 
The characteristic "shoots" or "bonanzas" furnish most of the 
product of Pachuca. The yield is mainly in silver, only 20 to 30 
per cent, of the value being in gold. 

Northward, the chain of andesitic fields is prolonged through 
New Mexico to Colorado, where they are widely developed, and 
through Arizona to Nevada and Utah as far north indeed as Silver 
City in Idaho. Sporadic fields occur further north, as at Monte 
Christo in Washington, which with the possible exception of the 
Rossland sulphide occurrences, probably also to be referred to this 
period, are the most northerly of the Tertiary andesitic fields on 
the eastern seaboard of the Pacific Ocean. 

Comstock, Nevada. Ancient metamorphic slates occur in the 
southern portion of the district, and, indeed, form the foot wall of 
the Comstock lode south of the Yellow Jacket and Belcher shafts, 
but the mass of the country rock is igneous and andesitic. According 
to Hague and Iddings, & the order of succession of the rocks of the 

a Aguilera and Ordonez, Boletin del Institut. de Mexico, Nos. 7, 8, 9, 1897. 
b Bull., U.S. Geol. Surv., No. 17, 1885, p. 123. 


district is andesite, dacite, rhyolite, andesite, and basalt. In 
depth the andesites assume a dioritic and diabasic habit. Propy- 
litization is extensive the hornblende, augite, and biotite yielding 
chlorite, epidote, and pyrite, while the felspars furnish quartz 
and a white, possibly sericitic, material. 

The lode is 3 to 4 miles in length. The product was mainly 
silver obtained from stephanite, argentite, and polybasite. Galena 
and zinc blende also occur. The bullion contains 6 to 7 per cent, 
of gold, or about half the value. The matrix is quartz with occasional 
calcite. Bonanzas have furnished the greater portion of the 
product. L Pyrite is abundantly scattered through the country rock. 

Cripple Creek, Colorado. This field lies in the Eastern 
Rocky Mountains, about 10 miles south-west of the famous Pike's 
Peak. Its country rock is the red granite of that mountain. The 
granite contains occasional Pre-Cambrian schists seamed with diabase 
dykes. The auriferous area is, however, some 20 square miles of 
Oligocene or Miocene volcanic rocks. The earliest eruptions and 
the most extensive were andesitic, and occur both as lavas and as 
tuffs and breccias, the latter predominating. Following the andesites 
came phonolitic breccias and dykes, with which may be associated 
some minor outcrops of syenite and nepheline syenite. Finally, 
these were intruded by more basic rocks, yielding dykes of nepheline- 
basalt, felspar-basalt, and limburgite. a Hydrothermal agencies 
have been extremely active in the region, and the breccias are often 
so highly dolomitised that little of their original character can be 

The veins are very largely replacement veins, and, probably 
owing to the presence of the phonolitic magma, show a divergence 
from the vein association usual in andesitic areas, viz., in the 
occurrence of fluorite. This mineral, together with secondary 
orthoclase (adularia or valencianite), occurs abundantly in the veins, 
and also as an impregnation in the surrounding country rock. 
The ordinary gangue is quartz, but barytes also occurs. Opaline 
silica is occasionally met with. The veins persist into the granite, 
in which rock also alteration has proceeded outward from the vein, 
resulting often in the production of a highly cellular rock. The 
cavernous rock and the porous breccias may be impregnated for 
several feet with auriferous tellurides, fluorite, and secondary 
orthoclase, and it is these telluride replacements rather than the 
quartz-veins themselves that furnish the bulk of the Cripple Creek 
gold. The tellurides are principally calaverite, krennerite, and 
sylvanite, with rare petzite. Other associates of the gold are 

a Penrose, 16th Ann. Rep., U.S. Geol. Surv., II, 1895. 


galena, chalcocite, stibnite, and zinc-blende. The general dis- 
position of the ore-bodies is in thin shoots. 

Similar districts in the Western States of America are Silver 
City and De Lamar, Idaho a and Goldfield, Rhyolite, and Tonopah, 
Nevada. 6 These and others will be found more fully described 
in later sections of this volume. 

Connection is made between North America and Asia by the 
islands of the Aleutian chain. Many of these possess still active 
volcanoes. Gold deposits of the normal andesitic type also occur, 
but these have not hitherto proved of great importance. The line 
of volcanic manifestation runs from the Aleutian chain to Japan 
by way of the Kurile Islands. In Japan there are many gold areas 
scattered through andesitic rocks. They are not now highly pro- 
ductive, but the upper zones of their veins furnished many million 
ounces during the 15th and 16th centuries to Portuguese and 
Dutch merchants. The goldfields of northern Formosa are a direct 
continuation of the Japanese chain. South of Formosa andesitic 
goldfields appear to be connected with another zone of crustal weak- 
ness running almost at right angles to the Japanese line. The gold 
occurrences of the Philippines are mainly in older rocks, and no 
direct evidence is there available of association with Tertiary 

A great andesitic zone runs through the East Indian Archipelago. 
Its most northerly fields are doubtfully those of Kyoukpazat in 
Burma and Talan in Yunnan, which are developed along meridional 
lines of Miocene crustal weakness, but the first important goldfields 
are those of Central and Southern Sumatra, the last containing 
the well-known Radjang Lebong mine. From thence the belt 
appears to run eastward equatorially, including the goldfields of 
Bau and Bidi, Sarawak, and others in Southern Borneo, and ends 
in the scattered goldfields of the eastward prolongation of Northern 
Celebes. The general relations of the Japanese, Asian, and Archi- 
pelagian goldfields are not now evident, and will be understood only 
with fuller geo-tectonic information concerning south-eastern Asia. 

New Zealand. The New Zealand auriferous andesitic area 
in the Hauraki Peninsula is only broadly connected with the fore- 
going ; its position appears to have been determined by the inter- 
section of two of the great Pacific axes of folding and faulting 
one running south-west to form the mountain chain of New Zealand, 
and north-east into the Central Pacific Ocean, where, along its 
course, several active volcanoes (Kermadecs, Tofoa, Savaii, &c.) 

" Lindgren, 20th. Ann. Rep., U.S. Geol. Surv., pp. 107-188. 
*' Spurr, U.S. Geol. Surv., Prof. Paper, No. 42, 1905. 


have been developed ; the other axis strikes north-west through 
Norfolk Island to New Caledonia and the New Hebrides. At the 
intersection of these axes volcanic activity is still extant, and is 
manifested by the eruptions and geysers of the Hot Lakes region. 

The Tertiary eruptives of the Hauraki Peninsula rest on 
sediments of obscure Mesozoic and Palaeozoic age. The 
oldest of the eruptives are Upper Eocene in age and are flows 
and breccias of andesites (pyroxenic in the main, occasionally hyper- 
sthenic, but sometimes amphibolitic) and dacites that are mainly 
hornblendic. This series contains the auriferous veins. It was 
succeeded by a well-differentiated Oligocene or Miocene series (Beeson 
Island Group) consisting mainly of coarse, somewhat trachytic 
breccias. Under the microscope, they are, as has been shown by 
Professor Sollas, a mainly hypersthene-andesites and dacites, though 
many of the latter, especially when hornblendic, might readily 
be termed trachytes. This series is not auriferous. 

Closing the volcanic sequence in the Peninsular area, and 
developed only on the east and south, are thick deposits of rhyolite, 
both glassy and pumiceous. Outside the Peninsular area are later 
eruptions of basalt on the Auckland Isthmus, and of pyroxenic 
andesite in the Hot Lakes region to the south. 

Auriferous deposition is practically confined to the older 
andesites, and to those only where propylitization has been extensive. 
Propylitization here, as elsewhere in auriferous regions, has resulted 
in the conversion of the felspars and ferro-magnesian silicates to 
chlorite, quartz, calcite, serpentine, sericite, epidote, and pyrite. 

This area contains the famous Waihi mine, at the present time 
potentially the greatest of the world's gold mines. Unlike the 
majority of veins on andesitic fields, the values of the lodes of 
Waihi are regular, owing nothing to shoots or bonanzas. The 
matrix is quartz, which is occasionally chalcedonic. Calcite occurs, 
but is subordinate and of no importance. Lindgren & records the 
presence of valencianite or secondary orthoclase. The associates of 
the gold are pyrite, sphalerite, galena, and argentite, and probably 
chalcopyrite. Pyrite, calcite, and a serpentinous mineral are 
abundant as metasomatic replacements of the adjacent country 
rock, while valencianite may occur there in veinlets with quartz 
and calcite. Manganese oxides occur, which furnish, on analysis, 
nickel and cobalt. The Waihi bullion carries a small percentage 
of selenium originally contained in the sulphide-ore. 

Hungary. The only auriferous andesitic region not bordering 
on the Pacific Ocean is that of Hungary. Its gold-deposits all 

a " Rocks of Cape Colville Peninsula," Wellington, 1906, p. 56. 
b Eng. Min. Jour., Feb. 2, 1905. 


arise from solfataric action consequent on the extrusion of andesites 
and trachytes along the inner side of the great Carpathian uplift. 
Three main areas may be distinguished : (a) The Schemnitz area ; 
(b) the Transylvanian (Dacian) area, and (c) the Nagybanya area. 
Clearly to be associated with these is the auriferous dacite area 
of north-eastern Servia. 

The Schemnitz region lies about 80 miles north of Buda-Pesth 
in the Erzgebirge of Lower Hungary. Its basement rocks are 
Triassic ; these are overlain by Eocene Nummulitic shales. 
Volcanic eruptions commenced about the middle of the Mediter- 
ranean stage. The order of succession appears to have been 
pyroxene-andesite, diorite and quartz-diorite, aplite, biotite- and 
amphibole-andesite, and lastly rhyolite, which is the predominant 
rock. The andesitic varieties are now propylitized. Veins are 
extremely numerous, and some are continued into the adjacent 
Miocene strata. The Griiner and Spitaler lodes show a persistency 
in length exceptional in andesitic areas. The latter lode has been 
traced for 7 2 miles. The gangue and associates of the gold are, 
with the exception of tellurides, essentially those already mentioned. 
The Kremnitz lodes further north are in similar rocks. 

The oldest rocks of the Transylvanian region are phyllites and 
crystalline schists. These are hidden by Mesozoic strata which 
are broken through and covered by andesites, dacites, trachytes, 
and rhyolites, with later basalts. The andesites, belonging to the 
Mediterranean stage, have here also been propylitized, and carry 
gold-quartz veins which are characterised by the presence of 
tellurides. The principal fields of this area are Nagyag, Offenbanya, 
Faczebanya, Fericsel, Verespatak, Vulkoj, Botes, Brad, and Boicza. 
The mineral veins of these fields show the " stockwerk " features 
characteristic of most andesitic goldfields, with local enrichments 
at intersections. On the Verespatak field, the veins occur partly 
in the eruptive rock and partly in the adjacent Carpathian sand- 
stones. The veins in the latter are of clean quartz with free gold, 
and without the sulphides and tellurides that occur with the gold 
in the propylites. 

The Nagybanya area, which includes, among others, the gold 
veins of Felsobanya and Kapnik, lies in the extreme eastern pro- 
vince of Hungary about 100 miles north of the foregoing area. It 
consists of propylitic dacites, rhyolites, and trachytes, and its lodes 
present the same characters as those of Schemnitz. 

A general consideration of the characters of the various rocks 
that go to make up a normal auriferous andesitic province is of 
interest in connection with the question of the origin of the great 
auriferous Archaean schist areas. It is suggested that the metamor- 


phism of such an andesitic assemblage yields a complex made up 
mainly of amphibolitic and chloritic schists, and, further, that 
the gold contained in sulphides and as tellurides in the small veins 
and impregnated areas of the andesitic rocks is, during the metamor- 
phism of the enclosing rock, dissolved and re-deposited generally 
with quartz in the major thrust-plane fissures developed by folding. 
Petrological examination of hornblende-schists, such as those of 
the Kolar field, certainly indicates a derivation from intermediate 
igneous andesitic rocks that, from their association with boulder- 
beds and grits, were obviously deposited at the earth's surface. 
The foregoing assumption, taken in conjunction with the suggestion 
already outlined, viz., that the gold of an andesitic area is derived 
from older underlying or adjacent auriferous rocks, indicates a 
complete cycle in the history of gold, from depth to surface, and 
from surface to depth. In the present state of our knowledge the 
relations outlined are to be regarded as highly speculative. 


The characters of the auriferous provinces already outlined 
are well marked, and the grouping there adopted has been fairly 
obvious. The affinities of the two principal members of this, the 
third great group, are not less evident. In each case, viz., in the 
Californian and Southern Alaskan regions of Western North 
America hi the first instance, and along the mountain axis of 
Eastern Australia in the second instance, auriferous deposition is 
clearly genetically connected with a single, often protracted period 
of igneous activity. The age of the first is probably to be referred 
to the Jurassic, that of the second to the Permo-Carboniferous period. 
Considering the general retardation in geological time of the Aus- 
tralian continent the intrusion or extrusion of these magmas may 
be much nearer in point of actual time than their respective geo- 
logical horizons would indicate. The relations of the third member 
of this group, covering as it does the scattered goldfields lying along 
the eastern slopes of the Ural Mountains in Russia, are by no means 
so evident as the foregoing ; but it, nevertheless, seems to fall 
naturally into this section. The general meridional distribution 
of all three provinces of the group is merely an expression of the 
general direction of the lines of the earth's crustal weakness along 
which mountain chains are formed ; it has probably no bearing 
on the present subject. All three provinces show a characteristic 


mingling of igneous rocks of various types. While in every case 
the general facies of the magma has been granodioritic to granitic 
there are, nevertheless, older or younger rocks of intermediate or 
even basic types. It is here that the weakness of the classification 
now adopted for these three provinces lies ; for it is not possible 
to determine in the present state of our knoAvledge, whether auri- 
ferous impregnation is to be referred to the main granodioritic 
magma or to the possibly genetically-connected intermediate 
magmas that preceded or followed. Should it hereafter be demon- 
strated that the auriferous content of these groups is dependent on 
intermediate (dioritic) or slightly basic intrusions, a great advance 
will have been made, since these provinces will then fall into line 
with the goldfields of Archaean, Pre-Cambrian, and Tertiary times. 
In the Tertiary igneous auriferous provinces an entirely similar 
differentiation of magmas has obtained, andesites and dacites being 
often succeeded by rhyolites and basalts, a succession which may 
be considered to be entirely analogous to the relations of the grano- 
diorite, granite, and diabase now exposed by denudation. 

In an important economic respect, the three provinces of the 
group agree closely ; they have furnished the great placer-gold 
deposits of the world. To this feature, however, two factors, one 
inherent and the other external, have mainly contributed. In 
the first place, the gold of the veins of this group is generally free 
and coarse, and has been enclosed within a quartz matrix from which 
it has been dissociated with ease ; secondly, these areas have, 
during Tertiary times, been, in general, areas of elevation. The 
erosion and degradation of the upper portion of their gold-quartz. 
veins, with a consequent separation and sorting of their heavy 
minerals has thus been rendered possible. It is further characteristic 
of the gold-quartz veins of this group that they show no very 
decided dependence for country on the igneous members of the 
various complexes in which they are found, but occur indifferently 
in igneous rock or in adjacent sedimentary or metamorphic rock, 
favouring, perhaps, carbonaceous shales or slates. 

Western North America. The auriferous granodioritic 
region of Western North America has been closely studied. From 
the State in which it shows the greatest development, it has 
generally been termed the Calif ornian belt. It may be traced 
northwards from the Lower California peninsula in Mexico to the 
flanks of the great Sierra Nevada chain, through the western foot- 
hills of which it runs the length of California. In Oregon it carries 
goldfields of minor importance. With the main Calif ornian belt are 
probably to be grouped the rocks of the gold-quartz veins of the 
Blue Mountains in north-east Oregon ; those north of the Snake- 


river, in Idaho ; and many of the auriferous vein occurrences of 
Montana. The sulphide deposits of Rossland across the inter- 
national boundary in Canada are possibly also to be grouped here. 
Whatever may be the relations of these last, there is, however, 
no doubt of the close connection of the auriferous occurrences of 
the Southern Alaskan seaboard with those of California ; they 
are certainly to be considered as forming a northward continuation 
of the Calif ornian belt. 

Lindgren a has clearly shown that the gold-quartz veins of the 
Calif ornian belt are always closely associated with the ' meta- 
morphic series," comprising, in this case, a great assemblage of 
rocks ranging in age from Early Palaeozoic to Jurassic, and con- 
taining among its sedimentary members altered slates, sand- 
stones, and limestones, together with more or less metamorphosed 
quartz-porphyrite,^ augite- or hornblende-porphyrite, diabase, and 
amphibolite as representatives of probably intercalated igneous 
rocks. Gabbros and serpentines also occur, but are not abundant. 
Through all of these, and also through the later granite and 
granodiorite (quartz-mica-diorite with a little orthoclase), there 
run auriferous quartz veins, which certainly seem to be more closely 
connected with the granodiorite than with any other intrusive rock. 

The granodiorite is a rock intermediate between a granite and 
a quartz-diorite. With it, and often inseparable from it, are 
various types of gabbro-diorite. The " porphyrite ' group is 
commonly termed the " greenstone series," and comprises 
various diabases and porphyrites that are now often largely urali- 
tized. The relations of these rocks to the granodiorite are far 
from clear, and different successions have been advanced as a result 
of work in different regions. The most widely-accepted sequence 
of events in the Mesozoic eruptions commences with intrusions of 
gabbro-diorite and granodiorite, is continued by the extrusion of 
diabase and porphyrite, and is completed by further intrusions of 
granodiorite. As a result of contact metamorphism, the Mariposa 
slates, though only of Late Jurassic age, are, near contacts, altered 
into mica-schist and andalusite-schist. c 

The most striking member of the California!! auriferous veins 
is the " Great Mother Lode," which is essentially a longitudinal 
series of quartz veins developed along a strike fault area for more 
than a hundred miles. Quartz is the dominant matrix, but calcite, 
dolomite, and ankerite also occur. The associates of the gold in 
the veins are various sulphides : pyrite, arsenopyrite, galena, 

a Bull. Geol. Soc. Am., VI, 1895, p. 225. 

" Pre-Tertiary andesite. 

Forstner, Min. Sci. Press, 1908, p. 744. 


chalcopyrite, tetrahedrite, and blende. Tellurides also occur. Gold 
has been noted as occurring in albite veinlets ramifying through a 

To be associated with the Californian occurrences are the 
Southern Alaskan coastal mines. Of these, the Douglas Island 
deposits have been the most closely investigated. The country 
rock in the vicinity of the Alaska-Treadwell ore-deposit is, as in 
Victoria and often in California, a carbonaceous slate. The slate 
has been intruded by an albite-diorite dyke, consisting essentially 
of albite, with a little augite, hornblende, biotite, and a small 
quantity of a plagioclase felspar more basic than albite. Further 
crushing and metamorphism was followed by the intrusion of a 
diabase or gabbro (augite and plagioclase). The gabbro appears 
to have had no effect on the mineralisation, but a still later analcite- 
basalt dyke seems to have set mineralising solutions in circulation 
and to have filled two series of fissures in the albite-diorite. These 
series lie at right angles to each other at about 45 to the horizon. 
The vein-filling is quartz and calcite, and the associates of the gold 
are auriferous pyrites, chalcopyrite, mispickel, blende, and galena. 

Eastern Australia. The great chain of important goldfields 
developed along the Eastern Cordilleras of Australia to use the 
term proposed many years ago by Murchison for this mountain 
range are apparently all to be assigned to strongly-developed 
igneous intrusions of a general granodioritic facies. Recent 
geological work has thrown considerable light on the age of 
these intrusions. They are certainly older than Triassic 
times, and would appear to have reached their maximum 
development in the Carboniferous period ; at least, so far as 
the main granodioritic intrusion is concerned. There is evidence of 
earlier igneous activity, indicated by the possibly Lower Devonian 
porphyrites of the Snowy River and Mitta Mitta Valley, East 
Gippsland, and there has been, subsequent to the deposition 
of the Permo-Carboniferous sedimentary beds, a widespread in- 
trusion of more basic (dioritic) members. These last are exceedingly 
important from our present standpoint, and are certainly responsible 
for auriferous deposition on several fields (Mount Morgan, Gympie, 
Lucknow, Woods Point, Walhalla, &c). The diorite dykes are 
perhaps most naturally to be considered as later magmatic segrega- 
tions from the main, more acid magma. There is thus in this area 
a considerable similarity to the Californian province already outlined. 
The granodioritic and granitic intrusion is clearly a result of the 
action of the orogenic forces that have, in the course of geological 
ages, built up the mountain ranges of the eastern seaboard. The 
rocks and veins of Tasmania must be grouped with those of the 


mainland, since that island has only very recently been separated 
from Australia. 

In southern New South Wales, Victoria, and Tasmania the 
acid igneous rocks show a relatively small exposure at the surface 
in auriferous areas, but further north, in Queensland, either from 
a greater development nearer the surface or from greater erosion, 
they bulk largely in the auriferous complex. Speaking generally, 
therefore, goldfields occur in the north (Croydon, Ravenswood, 
Charters Towers, &c.) in the igneous rocks ; while in the 
south, as in Victoria and Tasmania, they occur in the overlying or 
adjacent sedimentary rocks. To this general rule there are notable 
exceptions. In Queensland both the famous Mount Morgan mine 
and the Gympie field are in the sedimentary rocks of the Gympie 
(Lower Carboniferous) series. Another division of the goldfields 
of the belt, and one dependent on the character of the ore-matrix, 
may also be made, inasmuch as some carry highly refractory 
auriferous sulphide-ores, while others yield only clean quartz with 
free gold. It will, on examination, be found that the former are 
restricted to the typical acid igneous rocks, while the latter He 
within sedimentary, and often carbonaceous beds. Further, it may 
be seen, as at the Etheridge and Ravenswood, in Queensland, that 
where auriferous veins pass from granite or granodiorite into ad- 
jacent sedimentary rocks, the dense sulphide-ore of the former 
tends to give place in the latter to quartz with free gold. The 
veins of the Croydon goldfield in aplitic granite carry quartz with 
free gold and little pyrite ; this is, however, not a real exception to 
the general rule, since both the country and the fissures contain 
large quantities of graphite. There is, therefore, reason to believe 
that no genetic distinction between the filling of the veins of the 
respective fields may be made, and that the difference arises from 
the segregative influence of the carbonaceous matter of sedimentary 
beds on pyrite and gold. In these beds the pyrite affects the country, 
leaving quartz and gold to be deposited in fissures. 

The granite of the northern fields, as of Croydon, is of a 
curiously aplitic type ; it is further characterised by the presence 
of considerable quantities of a graphite that possibly represents 
portions of Permo-Carboniferous coalfields caught up by intrusive 
magmas. Normal granite occurs, but is not common on the 
northern goldfields. Rocks of the granodioritic type may often be 
described, as from Charters Towers, with greater particularity as 
tonalite or quart z-mica-diorite. 

In the southern regions the sedimentary beds of Ordovician and 
Silurian age form the normal locus of the auriferous veins, which 
have often been formed along the corrugations into which these 


beds have been folded, in this case giving rise to the " saddle 
reefs," peculiarly distinctive of Bendigo. 

Of the goldfields in acid igneous rocks, Charters Towers is 
probably typical. Its veins, as already stated, lie in a complex of 
granitic and granodioritic rocks, through which, as may be seen 
from an inspection of the geological map attached (Fig. 103), there 
ramify numerous felsitic and dioritic and even more basic intrusions. 
It is probable that the serpentine area, as shown in the map, 
represents merely a weathered diorite or diabase. Close to 
the igneous rocks and intruded by them are slates and schists of 
probable Middle Devonian age. The main reefs of Charters Towers 
are the Brilliant and the Day Dawn. These are in depth highly 

The characters of two only of the numerous goldfields developed 
in sedimentary rocks may here be indicated. 

Ballarat. The rocks of this field are nearly vertical Ordo- 
vician slates and quartzites, and are intruded by granitic dykes 
which appear to be connected with the origin of the gold, and which 
are considered to be of later Palaeozoic age. The period of auriferous 
deposition thus seems to be fairly well marked. The goldfield itself 
lies some little distance to the west of intrusive granitic rocks (quartz- 
monzonites of Lindgren). Tertiary basic dykes (limburgites) are also 
intrusive through the Silurian slates, but have no cbnnection with 
auriferous deposition, and, indeed, are the intrusive representatives 
of the great Tertiary basaltic flows of Victoria. 

The most notable features on the Ballarat East field are the 
" indicators " narrow black pyritous bands striking with the 
country and bedded parallel or nearly so with it. They have generally 
been regarded as original, highly carbonaceous, pyritous bands 
interbedded with the country, but Gregory has lately shown that 
they are not, as a rule, composed of pyrite and arsenopyrite, but 
rather of ferruginous chlorite. One, the " Pencil Mark," owes its 
dark colour to rutile. Prom the nature of the filling, and from his 
observation that the indicators do break across the bedding, Prof. 
Gregory maintains that they are filled fissures. This view is not 
generally accepted by local geologists. 

The quartz veins of Ballarat are, on the whole, thin and 
irregular, and have been worked almost entirely in connection with 
the indicators, since these last have considerable continuity, and, 
where they cut the " flat makes " (horizontal floors) of quartz, are 
the cause of much local enrichment. Of late years, a considerable 
amount of profitable mining has been carried on in quartz veins 
developed along strike faults. 

a Min. Jour., June 20, 1900. 



The painstaking research work of Don a shows clearly that the 
country rock of Ballarat away from a vein is barren, and that it is 
only where pyrites, obviously introduced from the vein, occurs that 
the country rock carries any values in gold. He also points out 
the auriferous character of the pyrites of an acid eruptive (felsite- 
porphyry) dyke analysed by him, the highest analysis (with also 
the greatest amount of pyrites) yielding as much as 6 7 grains per 
ton. A genetic association of auriferous lode and acid dyke is 
suggested. b 


EH EEJj ^ | 







Sin lot 
ol Gold. 

Fig. 66. Showing Shoot of Gold at Intersection of Quartz Vein and Indicator 


Bendigo. The veins of Bendigo are contained in Ordovician 
black clay -slates that have been compressed into a series of anti- 
clines and synclines. The auriferous quartz occurs at the crest of a 
number of parallel anticlinals forming the well-known " saddle 
reefs," i.e., veins with their greatest thickness at the crest of the 
anticlinal and with a dip away on either side, forming the " legs," 
which gradually thin out in depth and disappear. Beside the dip 
of the " legs," the quartz bodies have also the pitch of the anti- 
clinal axis. Quartz is also formed along the corresponding syn- 

Trans., Amer. Inst. M.E., XXVII, 1897, p. 568. 
Loc. cit., p. 573. 


clinal axes, but is not there notably auriferous. The folding of the 
clay -slates and sandstones is occasionally very sharp. The three 
principal anticlinals of Bendigo, the New Chum, Garden Gully, and 
the Hustler, are contained within a distance of 150 yards. Several 
; ' saddle reefs " msiy occur on the one anticlinal, one being super- 
posed on the other at varying intervals in the sedimentary beds. 
Besides the quartz of the saddle reefs, there are also found irregular 
branches of auriferous quartz, in more or less obvious connection, 
however, with the characteristic form of quartz vein. 

The quartz of the veins seems to be a simple vein-filling, growing 
probably with the folding of the sedimentary rocks. The gold is 
free, and is easily seen in the clear glassy quartz. Sufficient 
chlorite to give a greenish colour occasionally occurs embedded 
in the quartz. As at Ballarat, the usual sulphides are pyrite and 
arsenopyrite, with a little galena. Subsequent vein-filling has given 
carbonates of iron, lime, and magnesia. Albite occurs intergrown 
with quartz in drusy cavities." 

No direct connection with granitic intrusions has been noted 
on this field, but a granitic batholith (quartz-monzonite of Lindgren) 
occurs a little to the south of the auriferous area. 

Ural Mountains. The relations of the group of gold-quartz 
veins scattered along the eastern flanks of the Ural Mountains are 
not well defined, nor may either their geological age or that of their 
enclosing, generally granitic country be stated with any approach 
to accuracy. They may, however, be of Late Palaeozoic age. 
The area presents so many features in common with those of the 
two preceding provinces, that it must, for the present at least, be 
grouped with them. There are the same indications of a wide- 
spread acid-magma, in this case, however, rather granitic than 
granodioritic, with which have been associated, as also in the two 
already-described provinces, numerous intrusions of more basic 
rocks. The igneous rocks therefore include granite, syenite, quartz - 
porphyry, felsite, porphyrites, diorite, diabase, gabbro, norite, and 
pyroxenite. In the north, and especially in the neighbourhood of 
Berezovsk, but also at Tcheliabinsk and Kotchkar, the gold-quartz 
veins form a network of stringers in microgranitic rocks that are 
either intrusive or massive. The typical microgranitic rock of 
Berezovsk has been termed " beresite." Gold-quartz veins also occur 
in the older schists and in diabasic and serpentinous rocks, the 
latter association being, perhaps, best marked toward the south 
of the auriferous region. While the country of the northern veins 
is generally acid, auriferous deposition is attributed by Purington 6 

"Lindgren, Econ. Geol., I, 1905, p. 163. 
b Eng. Min. Jour., June 13, 1903, p. 894. 

URALS. 75 

to the influence of intrusive basic rocks. Purington, indeed, con- 
siders the deposits of Berezovsk to be entirely analogous to those 
of the Alaska-Treadwell on Douglas Island, and, further, that the 
distribution of the gold-deposits is largely governed by that of 
the basic rocks. 

The gold-bearing veins of Tcheliabinsk, according to Kar- 
pinsky, a lie in a country of highly dynamo-metamorphosed granite, 
in part a hornblende-granite. The vein-filling consists of com- 
pletely decomposed country and of quartz, the latter occurring 
often as a stock work. 

The Berezovsk rocks are highly metamorphosed muscovite- 
granite schists and mica-schists traversed by numerous dykes 
of microgranite and of basic rocks. The acid intrusive rock, and 
not the schist, is the country of the gold, since across the micro- 
granites from wall to wall there extend numerous thin auriferous 
quartz veinlets. The associates of the gold are mainly sulphides, 
pyrite, chalcopyrite, aikinite (Pb Cu Bi S 3 ), chalcocite, and com- 
pact galena. Very frequently also the quartz contains long needles 
of a grey-green tourmaline, running at right angles to the walls. 
There also occur pseudomorphs of tourmaline after pyrites. It is 
suggested that the microgranite (aplite) dykes, which, by the way, 
recall very strongly the massive aplitic rock of Croydon, Queens- 
land, may be genetically connected with the neighbouring granite 
massif of Lake Shartash. 

The Kotchkar veins in Orenburg 6 are also in sheared and 
decomposed granite. The gold is associated with auriferous arseno- 
pyrite, which also impregnates the adjoining granite to a con- 
siderable extent. 

Other Fields. Further geological research may bring into 
the granitic or granodioritic group two widely-separated areas in 
which the relations of auriferous vein-filling are very obscure, 
viz., those of the Alps, in France, Piedmont, and the Tyrol, and 
those of the South Island of New Zealand, in Otago and West land. 
Both are apparently to be attributed to Middle and Late Mesozoic 
mountain building, during which acid magmas were intruded into 
the rock complex. Tonalites (quartz-mica-diorites) are especially 
well developed along the Alpine fold ; they are generally disposed 
along a line to the south of that of the auriferous occurrences ; 
but here also the question is complicated by the intrusion of 
augite-porphyry and more basic rock, also of undetermined, and 
possibly of indeterminate age. 

a Guide des excursions du VII Congres. Geolog. Internal?., 1S97, p. 30. 
b Trans. Am. Inst. M.E., XXXIII, 1899, p. 24. 



From the foregoing facts, of necessity briefly detailed and 
outlined, we may reasonably make certain deductions. The almost 
invariable direct association of auriferous veins with igneous rocks, 
even when taken with the few cases that are not obviously so 
associated, indicates with some certainty that auriferous veins are 
formed by waters derived from, or, more often, set in circulation by 
the heat of igneous magmas and intrusions. That heat alone is 
insufficient to produce auriferous veins is clearly shown by the fact 
that they do not accompany every variety of igneous rock. Basalts, 
trachytes, and rhyolites are notoriously non-auriferous, and, indeed, 
the only volcanic rock strikingly gold-bearing is the andesitic type. 
Among plutonic rocks connected with gold-veins, there is a much 
greater range granites, tonalites, diorites, and diabases furnishing 
goldfields. The diabases must, however, be regarded merely as 
vehicles of heat, since they are, as has been shown, operative only 
in pre-existing auriferous rocks, as in the Archaean schists. The 
diorites, again, are merely the plutonic forms of the auriferous 
andesites. There are thus left the tonalites and the granites. Some 
of these resemble the diabases in being merely heat carriers ; but 
others, as those of North Queensland, cannot so simply be explained. 
The salient fact, therefore, remains that the prominent goldfields of 
the world are associated with intermediate igneous rocks and with 
granites and tonalites. The granites and the tonalites may be 
for the moment neglected, since the data regarding them are too 
scanty to permit of deduction with the slightest approach to safety, 
and since the auriferous deposition exhibited in them may well be 
due to the basic rocks by which they are always intruded. There 
remain, therefore, closely connected with auriferous deposition, 
the Archaean schists and the andesites, and these, indeed, con- 
stitute the bulk of the world's auriferous rocks. The auriferous 
Archaean schists show, in the main, that they are of igneous origin, 
and they may often fairly safely be considered to represent ancient 
intermediate rocks probably andesites. A clear distinction must 
here be made between the younger and older veins of the Archaean 
schists. The older veins have shared in the metamorphism of the 
schists, and no evidence of their origin remains, but it may well 
be considered to be due to solfataric action similar to that which 
has formed most of the Tertiary andesite veins. In short, we may 


have in the auriferous Archaean schists a prototype of the wide-spread 
auriferous Tertiary andesites. In another place the writer has 
endeavoured to establish an Archaean auriferous province (the 
" Erythraean ") for the countries bordering on the Indian Ocean. 
This province is considered entirely analogous, for example, with 
the Cordilleran andesitic province of North America and Mexico ; 
it forms part of an Archaean world-wide auriferous deposit, of 
which few exposures exist, but which, nevertheless, lies under 
many an auriferous region of younger age. It may, indeed, be 
possible in the future to establish a direct connection between 
the Archaean auriferous schists and some, at least, of the Tertiary 
andesitic goldfields, the gold of the latter having been derived 
by wandering solutions from the hidden veins of the former. Out- 
side the Erythraean province, the old schists are best developed 
(as the Appalachian Province), in eastern North America. The 
recrudescence of auriferous activity in these schists, wherever 
penetrated by dioritic or diabasic dykes, is by no means one of 
the least striking features in the history of gold deposition. 

The question now naturally arises : What is the relation between 
gold and the andesitic rocks ? Some connection certainly does 
exist. It may be urged against the views set forth in this place that 
no actual proof has been adduced that the association is more than 
fortuitous, and, further, that the gold may have been brought into 
the andesites from unknown sources at miknown depths. But 
goldfields do not occur in the sedimentary rocks or even in the 
rhyolites or basalts that often surround, or occur with, the andesites, 
and, therefore, though it is merely an assumption that gold depo- 
sition is an andesitic function, it is not an unwarrantable assump- 
tion. Nevertheless, no direct answer to the above question may 
be given ; the solution of the problem awaits further chemical 
research, probably, like other problems of ore-deposition, in the 
direction of the genesis of pyrite and other sulphides. 

The poverty of basaltic regions has been explained a on the 
assumption that then occluded gases pass off as vapour, and are 
thus not available in vein formation. Indeed, it is stated that all 
surface flows are barren for this reason. But as will be abundantly 
shown when further considering the Tertiary andesites, these 
latter rocks are highly metalliferous, and yet they are not less 
superficial than basalts, trachytes, or rhyolites, all of which are 
devoid of auriferous deposits. 

No less striking than the restriction of gold-veins to certain 
rocks is their discontinuity in geological time when broadly con- 
sidered. There is the gap of all the geological table between the 

a Kemp, Trans. Am. Inst. M.E., XXXI, 1902, p. 169, p. G95. 


Archaean schists and the Tertiary andesites a gap but imperfectly 
bridged by the Permo-Carboniferous gold-veins of Eastern Australia 
and by the Middle Mesozoic lodes of California. With one exception, 
these intermediate deposits appear to have arisen from what may, 
perhaps, reasonably be termed in the present study an abnormal 
influence, viz., that of acidic magmas which may further, as has 
been suggested, have yielded auriferous solutions only with their 
less acid segregations. 


Due to Chemical Action at Depth. Secondary auriferous 
deposits are those which may presumably be, or obviously are, due 
to the influence of chemical or mechanical agents acting on older or 
primary gold ores or gold solutions. Secondary deposits, beingthe result 
of subsequent action, are, therefore, generally to be found within 
the limits of the auriferous provinces already outlined and very 
often are confined to the same fissure or ore-channel that holds the 
primary deposit. From our knowledge of the general character 
of gold-veins in depth, it may perhaps be legitimately assumed that 
the normal primary form of deposition of gold is an auriferous 
sulphide or a chemically-allied gold-telluride, and, further, that the 
free gold of quartz-veins represents the products of decomposition 
of auriferous sulphides and tellurides. The propositions are self- 
evident on the great majority of goldfields, but there are, never- 
theless, numerous, though perhaps only apparent exceptions. The 
most notable examples of clean quartz-veins carrying free gold to 
great depths are those of Bendigo and Ballarat, in Victoria. It 
has been shown that these are in sedimentary rocks adjacent to 
great granodioritic intrusions. Two alternative explanations have been 
advanced to account for the character of their contained gold. 
Either the free gold may be truly secondary and may be due to 
the action of deep-seated acid waters on sulphide or telluride ores, 
or, and more probably, the auriferous solutions that have deposited 
quartz and free gold in the sedimentary rocks were part of the same 
aqueous body that has deposited refractory auriferous sulphides 
in adjacent igneous rocks, the difference in the character of the 
deposit being due to the known segregative action of the car- 
bonaceous matter of the sedimentary rocks, pyrite being deposited 
generally in the country adjacent to the fissure, leaving quartz and 
free gold to form veins by simple fissure-filling. In the second 
case, therefore, the deposit must be regarded as truly primary, 
using the word in the sense already defined. Additional evidence 


for regarding many of the deep-seated free-gold deposits of Eastern 
Australia as primary is afforded by the fact that where no natural 
precipitant is present in the sedimentary rocks, the auriferous 
deposit even in those may be sulphide-ore, and, further, that where 
carbonaceous matter is present in the igneous rocks, as at Croydon, 
free gold in clean quartz may result. At Mount Morgan, where the 
Gympie beds are sandstones and contain no carbonaceous matter, 
uprising solutions have deposited their metallic contents as sul- 
phides, and, under the influence of mass action, their silica as a 
cement or replacement. 

The Champion Reef of the Kolar goldfield, in India, furnishes 
another example of gold-quartz deposited at great depths. The 
evidence available renders it impossible to say whether its gold 
is truly secondary. Should its schistose country be admitted as 
having originally formed an auriferous andesitic complex, as has 
already been suggested, the secondary nature of the gold of the vein 
may also reasonably be assumed. 

While free-gold of secondary origin is certainly not common 
in the deep zones below the reach of oxidising waters, some free-gold, 
such as that found at Kalgoorlie below the 2,000 feet level, is obviously 
derivative, arising from the action of deep-seated acid waters on 
sulphides or tellurides, or of tellurides on passing gold solutions. 
Deep-seated waters are probably generally alkaline, but it is 
obvious from a consideration of fumarolic vapours and solfataric 
waters that they may at given times and in certain places be de- 
cidedly acid. Maclaurin" on analysis found the hot waters (110 F.) 
of a lake 15 acres in extent, on White Island, New Zealand, to 
contain 5 47 per cent, of free hydrochloric acid, or more than one- 
sixth of that contained in ordinary commercial hydrochloric acid. 
In this connection the recent work of Lane, & showing that at great 
depths the waters of the Michigan copper area are essentially 
saturated chloride solutions, is of importance. 

Exceedingly important secondary auriferous sulphide deposits 
are formed immediately below the zone of oxidation by descending 
solutions. It is probable that secondary deposits of gold-tellurides 
are deposited in the same way. It will be sufficient in the present 
place to indicate the existence of secondary auriferous sulphide and 
gold-telluride deposits ; their characters and method of formation 
will be considered at length under the heading of " secondary 

Due to Chemical Action near the Surface. The changes 
that take place in the chemical composition of gold-ores as they 

a 41st Amu Rep. Dominion Laboratory, New Zealand, 1908, p. 30. 
h Amer. Geol., XXIV, 1904, p. 302. 


are gradually subjected to the influence of oxidising waters, in the 
progress of the denudation of the overlying rock, are of the utmost 
economic importance. Briefly, the essential process for gold is one 
of liberation from auriferous sulphides. An immediate reduction 
to the metallic state is possible, but the normal result is either 
re-deposition as free gold in the zone of oxidation, or with sulphides 
at the top of the sulphide zone. For the associated base sulphides 
the change is to native metal, oxide, chloride, carbonate, or sul- 
phate, the oxides of iron being as a rule especially abundant, and 
forming a ferruginous-red deposit that with quartz constitutes the 
" ironstone " of the Australian and the " gossan " of the Cornish 
miner. The depth of the oxidised zone, of course, varies considerably, 
and depends on the level of the permanent ground-water ; it is usually, 
therefore, from 50 to 250 feet below the surface. In glaciated and 
boreal regions, it is usually shallow ; in elevated desert regions, 
which yet receive a rainfall, it may be very deep. The economic 
aspect of the changes that take place in this zone are best 
considered in a later section, but there are certain points which 
must be taken here. A change in the character of gold ores as they 
pass upwards into the zone of oxidation is effected by the removal of 
the base matter, thus leaving the gold free. Though no direct proof 
of the existence of gold in vadose solutions has yet been offered, it is 
reasonably certain that when chemical changes are effected in the 
base associates of gold, some at least of the latter ordinarily passes 
into solution, and is carried elsewhere to be re-deposited, generally, 
indeed, to increase the bulk of already-deposited particles of gold, 
and to assume crystalline form wherever possible. The zone of 
oxidation is, therefore, for gold, also that of crystallization. It 
is only in propylitised andesitic country, or in the upper portions of 
gold-quartz veins, or, as we shall see later, in alluvial drifts, that 
crystallized gold is formed. It may be conceived that this 
restriction arises from the lack, in the zone of cementation, of free 
space necessary for the operation of the forces of crystallization, 
for, as we have seen, free gold may readily form in the deeper zones. 

Due to Chemical Action at the Surface. Experience has 
abundantly demonstrated a notable enrichment of gold veins at and 
near their outcrops, and it has been assumed that much of the gold 
taking part in the enrichment is probably transported in solution. 
It is evident that such solutions may pass from the vein-fissures, 
which often act as the drainage channels of the region, to the rock 
surface, and, finally, into overlying soils and gravels. In the soils 
they are speedily decomposed by carbonaceous matter ; but in the 
gravels, which are composed for the most part of chemically inactive 
silica, metalliferous solutions may be carried considerable distances 


before parting with their metallic content. Where, however, they 
encounter a grain of a precipitant,or a cross-current of a precipitating 
solution, or suffer a physical change sufficiently great, deposition 
in the gravel will ensue. Gold may thus be deposited in alluvial 
gravels. Like mechanically-deposited gold, gold deposited from 
solution will be found on the down-stream side of the auriferous 
vein-fissure. The arguments for the chemical origin of alluvial 
gold have been in the main advanced by Australian geologists and 
chemists (C. S. Wilkinson, Selwyn,^ Uhlrich, c Daintree, " Skey, e 
J. Cosmo Newbery,/ and others), and by Egleston? in America. 
They are, briefly : (a) Great masses of solid homogeneous gold com- 
parable in size to nuggets are rare in veins ; (6) the purity of 
alluvial gold is always greater than that of the gold of the neigh- 
bouring veins ; (c) gold nuggets are often frosted with fine gold 
on their surfaces ; (d) pyrites replacing organic matter in alluvial 
drifts is often auriferous ; (e) laboratory experiments have shown 
that gold is readily soluble in reagents that may well be supposed 
to exist in nature. While no single one of the foregoing arguments 
is in itself conclusive, they, nevertheless, taken together, furnish 
strong grounds for the assumption of the transport of gold in solu- 
tion. Masses of gold enclosing a considerable quantity of quartz, 
but withal more valuable than the largest nugget recorded, have 
been obtained from gold-quartz veins. A mass of golden quartz 
630 pounds in weight and containing gold to the value of 12,000 
was obtained in 1872 at the Hillend goldfield, New South Wales. 
The opponents of the hypothesis of the growth of gold in situ point, 
and with some considerable reason, to this and to similar, though 
smaller, masses of gold as competent to furnish, after the removal 
of the quartz by the battering action of stream pebbles, the nuggets 
of alluvial drifts. 

It is universally admitted that the purity of alluvial gold is 
greater than that of the veins of the neighbourhood. This 
superiority in fineness is explained by the well-known fact that 
silver is more readily soluble in natural waters than gold, and is 
by them removed from the natural alloy, thus increasing its purity. 
This argument, while certainly valid, fails to explain the 
homogeneity of nuggets, which are, so far as has been ascertained, 
of even fineness throughout. Laboratory experience in " parting " 

Trans. Roy. Soc. Vict., VIII, 1866, p. 11. 

b Geol. Mag., Ill, 1866, p. 457. 

c Contrib. Min. Victoria, Melbourne, 1870. 

^Rep. Geol. Ballan, Melbourne, 1866. 

e Trans. N. Z. Inst., V, 1872, p. 377. 

./'Trans. Roy. Soc. Victoria, IX, 1867, p. 52. 

9 Trans. Amer. Inst. M.E., IX, 1881, p. 646. 


silver from gold has indicated that unless the silver constitutes at 
least two-thirds of the bullion, the outside of the nugget will alone 
be attacked, and the depth of alloy affected by passing solutions is 
here considered to be too small to exercise an appreciable effect. 
Nevertheless, some attention must be directed in this respect 
towards the work of Liversidge, who found that the interior of 
nuggets is often spongy and at times even cavernous. It is possible 
that some part of the sponginess is due to the removal of silver. 
Further, a consideration of the fineness of the alluvial gold along 
the course of any given stream leads us to the conclusion that the 
greater purity of large masses, as nuggets, is not due to the solvent 
action of passing waters. It is found that the purity of alluvial 
gold is generally in inverse proportion to the size of the grain, and 
is consequently in direct proportion to the distance the gold has 
travelled down stream. This relation is simply explained by con- 
sidering the greater surface presented to agents of solution by the 
further-travelled and consequently smaller grains. This fact has 
long been known, and was, indeed, pointed out by Pliny. a It was 
also known to Oveido, the companion of Colombus, and has been 
advanced by recent authorities. b It may be assumed, therefore, 
that solvents of silver could have exercised little effect in raising 
the fineness (in tenor) of the great masses of gold, seeing that so far 
as the facts go they show that such solvent action is operative to 
an appreciable extent only when the grains of gold become very 
small. In regions as Alaska and Siberia, where oxidation is scanty 
and acid waters are not abundant, meteoric waters may exercise 
little effect even on the surface of nuggets. The low tenor (750-800) 
of Klondike nuggets may be attributed in small part to this cause. 
The frosting of the surfaces of nuggets is attributed by the 
opponents of the chemical theory to the etching action of perco- 
lating waters on gold surfaces. As will be seen later, this assump- 
tion is opposed to the evidence and to the laws governing the 
solution of crystals. The validity of the fourth argument, viz., 
that the presence of auriferous pyrite replacing woody fibre 
in alluvial drifts indicates deposition from solution is generally 
admitted, but it is urged that it has no obvious bearing on 
the growth of metallic gold. Numerous examples of pyritous 
replacements of tree stems have been recorded from the 
alluvial drifts both of Victoria and of California. Many of these 
replacements are auriferous, and the gold is assumed to have been 
deposited from solution by the well-established reducing action of 
pyrite. Newbery also found gold in the ashes of timbers taken 

Hist. Nat., Lib. XXVIII, Cap. 21. 

b Ross Browne, Eng. Min. Jour., Feb. 2, 1895. 


from alluvial drifts. The bearing on the question at issue of the 
fifth argument, which makes an analogy between re-actions in nature 
and in the laboratory, is not admitted by the supporters of the 
mechanical hypothesis. 

The foregoing, in brief, represented the position of the con- 
troversy in the early 'eighties, and the hypothesis of formation of 
nuggets from solutions in drifts was considered well established. 
The conclusions, rather than the work, of Liversidge have, however, 
done much to unsettle this position. Liversidge cut many nuggets 
into sections, etching with aqua-regia the flat surfaces. These 
showed, when thus treated, a well-defined crystalline structure, 
which appeared to be the more perfect as the quality of the 
gold improved. Nevertheless Liversidge concluded 01 that 
nuggets are derived entirely and directly from veins, and that 
; ' any small addition they may have derived from meteoric water ' : 
is quite immaterial and may be neglected. Apparently his diffi- 
culty in the acceptance of the rrypothesis of the growth of gold in 
situ in gravels arose from his anticipation that nuggets, were they 
of meteoric growth, would show concentric or curvilaminar zones 
of growth arranged like the shells of an onion. Such concentric 
coatings, however, are probably only possible when growth takes 
place with abnormal rapidity. Two such nuggets from New 
Guinea have been described, showing distinct agate-like lines of 
growth, with no signs of crystalline structure, 6 but all others ex- 
amined show more or less completely the crystalline character of 
Plate II, a character entirely in accordance with all that we know 
of the slow growth of crystalline bodies from dilute solutions. The 
internal homogeneous crystalline structure must certainly be con- 
sidered an argument in favour of growth in situ. Evidence is 
accumulating in favour of this view. Definite examples of the 
deposition of gold in situ in gravels are still rare, but there can be no 
doubt that to this class belongs the crystallized gold of Kanowna, 
Western Australia, where tiny, yet bright and sharply-defined 
octahedral gold crystals occur in the so-called " pug " or ancient 
clayey gravel. They have obviously undergone no attrition such as 
they must have suffered had they been of detrital origin. It is 
interesting to note that Maitland c considers these crystals to be 
identical in origin with those found in the oxidised portions of 
adjacent and underlying veins, a view entirely in accord with that 
adopted in this treatise. An even more striking instance is recorded 
from the Klondike region of Canada . d In Miller Creek a well- 

a Jour. Roy. Soc. N. S. W., XXVII, 1893, p. 343 ; lb., XXXI, 1897, p. 79. 

b Liversidge, Jour. Roy. Soc. N. S. W., XL, 1906, p. 161. 

c Ann. Prog. Rep. Geol. Surv. W. A., 1899, p. 9. 

^McConnell, Ann. Rep. Geol. Suit. Canada, XIV, 1901, p. 64b. 


rounded quartz-pebble or boulder was found carrying on its upper 
surface numerous thin specks and scales of crystallized gold dendri- 
tically arranged. Spurr" quotes a somewhat similar case from 
the placers of Providence Hill, Plumas Co., California, where nearly 
perfect, and only slightly worn crystals of magnetite were covered 
by a thin film of gold. The sections of nuggets made by Liversidge 
show that nuggets are often spongy and cavernous, and may con- 
tain appreciable quantities of quartz, ferruginous oxides, and 
argillaceous master. The specific gravity of a nugget of marked 
spongy character was only 15-21. Nuggets of gold from Klondike 
though only 750 fine showed, in general, the same characters as the 
purer Australian nuggets. In a later paper 6 the same authority, 
to whom we are indeed indebted for all our knowledge on the 
internal structure of nuggets, shows that apparently simple gold 
crystals, such as well-formed rhombic dodecahedra from New South 
Wales, on etching yield ample evidence that they are not internally 
homogeneous but are in reality highly complex, and are composed of 
a number of individuals. 

From the present point of view, the most potent argument 
in favour of the growth of gold in gravels is one on which, for various 
reasons, no emphasis has previously been laid, viz., that by far the 
largest and best examples of crystallized gold have been obtained 
from alluvial drifts. (See Frontispiece.) The general absence of 
crystallized gold from the placers of California has led many to the 
inference that it never does so occur. Newberry (J. S), for example, 
says : ' Crystals are never found in placer -gold nor are sheets 
or threads." The evidence furnished by the placer gold of Klondike, 
the Urals, Victoria, Western Australia, and other fields is sufficient 
refutation of the foregoing statement. Wire-gold, according to 
Gordon, was common at the surface in the early diggings of Otago, 
New Zealand, and was by the diggers considered to be grass-roots 
replaced by gold. The wires were often broadened to plates ; 
they were smooth or striated and were occasionally dusted with 
small cubical crystals of gold. Of the many specimens of native 
crystallized gold examined by the writer during the past ten years, 
few derived from the oxidised portions of veins have approached 
either in size or in crystallographic perfection of the individual 
those obtained from placer deposits. The latter present an aspect 
entirely characteristic, indicated generally as a tendency towards 
isolation of the individual crystal, and, what is probably a corollary, 
towards the assumption of ideally simple cubical or octahedral 

18th Ann. Rep. U.S. Geol. Surv., Pt. Ill, 1896-7, p. 378. 
b Jour. Roy. Soc. N. S. W., XLI, 1907, p. 143. 
c Trans. Amer. Inst. M.E., XXV, 1895, p. 294. 

Plate 11. 


Polished and etched sections oe Gold Nugget, Coolgardie, Western Australia (Liversidgi ). 

(Enlarged 2 diameters.) 


forms. This facies is to be attributed to accretion of metal from an 
enveloping solution, a condition that is rarely possible in veins 
where regular crystal growth is further hindered by the influence 
of vein walls or of associated solid crystal precipitants (as galena 
or pyrite), which affect the local supersaturation of the auriferous 
solution in the neighbourhood of the growing crystal. The numerous 
solid angles of the gold crystals thus deposited, by counter-attraction 
within the solution, further operate to intercept the solid matter 
that would otherwise build up a single well-defined crystal. The 
general character of crystallized gold from veins is consequently 
that of an irregular mass showing numerous small, distorted, and, 
within crystallographic limits, unlike faces. Large specimens of 
crystallized gold, such as those described by the writer and others, 
do occur in veins, but they are so distorted either by flattening 
or by elongation, that they could not possibly withstand the abrasion 
to which they must certainly be subjected before finally coming to 
rest in gravels. Further, were the gold crystals of placers derived 
from veins they must be of the same character and of the same or 
less size. We have seen that they differ in character, and are 
greater in size. The occasional presence of small quantities of 
quartz enclosed in the interior of nuggets is not in itself an evidence 
of vein origin since it is conceivable that a nugget may in the course 
of its growth enclose grains of quartz. Where, however, the quartz 
so enclosed is sharp and angular, a detrital origin for the gold is 
indicated. Even where nuggets have not been entirely deposited 
from solutions, it is possible that they may owe their massive form 
to filling of interstices by gold attracted by mass-action from 
solution and deposited in cavities and crevices of detrital nuggets. 
Such accretion, from our knowledge of crystal growth, will probably 
take place in accordance with the direction of the crystallographic 
axes of already-formed crystals, and the new deposit may, to a 
limited extent, and until interfered with by the influence of adjacent 
crystals, be in crystallographic continuity with the older crystal. 
Close and exhaustive examination by assay of the variation in 
internal composition of gold nuggets would throw considerable 
light on the origin of nuggets, and is greatly to be desired. 

The high gold tenor of certain pyrite deposits in the gravels 
of Southern Siberia, of British Columbia, and elsewhere, suggests 
the possibility of some of the placer gold of those regions having 
been derived directly from the decomposition of auriferous pyrite, 
itself probably of secondary origin. 

It has been stated that sharp, well-defined, crystal edges are 
regarded as evidence of growth in situ ; the converse, that rounded 
edges with curved faces may be taken to denote solution, is only 


partially true, since this result is also attained by attrition. Never- 
theless, certain crystals have been observed whose rounded edges 
are too regular to be ascribed to pounding or rubbing, and these 
are perhaps to be considered attempts to approach the ideal sphere 
that theoretically results when isometric crystals are attacked 
by solvents. a 

The final conclusions to which the writer has been brought with 
regard to the much-vexed question of the origin of alluvial gold are 
therefore that growth of gold on gold or on other nuclei is possible, 
and takes place wherever and whenever ionized or other auriferous 
solutions pass through gravels furnishing the conditions of pre- 
cipitation ; and, further, that no real distinction in origin or method 
of formation may be made between the gold so deposited and 
that of the oxidised zones of gold veins, the differences above- 
noted being merely due to environment. 

Secondary Auriferous Deposits Arising from Mechanical 
Action. While, therefore, there remains but little doubt that 
some placer gold owes its origin to accretion from auriferous solutions 
percolating through gravels, it is nevertheless probable that by 
far the larger portion of the gold recovered from placers is of detrital 
origin, and has been derived directly from gold-quartz veins, and 
especially from those veins hi which the gold is already coarse. 
Speaking generally, the richness of a placer deposit is governed 
rather by the physical conditions of deposition and, to a minor 
extent, by the character of the gold of the parent matrix, than 
by the tenor of that matrix. Where the geological history of any 
auriferous area has admitted of oft-repeated or long-continued 
erosion and consequent concentration of the heavy content of 
gravels, then the stream beds modern and ancient are of economic 
value. Thus the gold of the rich beaches of the Clutha River in 
New Zealand is derived from small and unimportant quartz- 
veins and lenticles in the quartz-schists of Central Otago. In the 
Klondike region, despite the extraordinary richness of the gravels, 
the parent gold-quartz veins of the local schists are apparently 
worthless. Many similar instances may be cited ; and in the 
majority of these the richness of the gravels cannot be explained 
by the assumption that the placers owe their value to the degradation 
of bonanza outcrops, for the formation of the placers has taken 
place in comparatively recent times, during which climatic con- 
ditions have not varied appreciably from those at present prevailing, 
and these, as in Alaska, British Columbia, and Siberia, are often 
inimical to outcrop enrichments. Tyrrell has calculated that the 

"Fock, "Chemical Crystallography," London, 1895, p. 61. 


gold of the Klondike gravels may be considered to be derived 
from 900 feet of eroded country, or a total quantity of 1 6 billion 
(English) tons of rock. Assuming the gravels to contain 
10,000,000 ounces of gold, the average gold content of the schist 
removed has been only -003 grain gold. On the other hand, 
exceedingly rich vein-deposits may give no shoadings, and 
therefore no hint of their existence. The bonanza outcrops 
of the Coromandel and Thames goldfields, in a country where 
conditions are peculiarly favourable to surface enrichment, 
yielded insignificant quantities of alluvial gold. On the eastern or 
Tokatea slopes of the mountain range at Coromandel, on which 
the rich Royal Oak and other veins outcropped, not a single colour 
could be obtained by panning, nor were nuggets found in the streams 
below. The famous Martha system of the Waihi mine, that has yielded 
nearly seven millions sterling from the uppermost 900 feet alone, 
gave no alluvial gold, although physical conditions were exceedingly 
favourable for concentration. In this case, however, there was no 
surface enrichment, and the gold of the veins is in a state of extremely 
fine division. The rainfall is heavy, and the gold in solution that 
would normally have formed a surface enrichment was carried into 
the surface waters and widely dispersed. The sheddings also from 
the famous Witwatersrand " banket ' deposit were trifling in 
quantity. These instances are sufficient to show that the richness 
of a placer deposit is not, of necessity, dependent on the richness 
of the parent source. 

Placers. The gold-quartz of the outcrops of quartz-veins 
is freed from the parent body by erosion and passes either at once 
into a stream-bed or reaches the latter after a slow journey down 
the hill-slopes, where its progress towards the valley bottom is 
dependent on the supply of running water and on the " creep" 
of the hiU-side. Where the slopes are flat a certain amount of gold 
concentration may take place in the soil of the hill-side below the 
vein outcrop by the readier removal of associated quartz. These 
deposits (bergseifen) are not of great economic value, and have 
been noted mainly in tropical countries (Borneo, &c). Akin to 
them are the shallow surface deposits of dry desert countries where 
wind-action has removed the lighter grains of quartz. Both these 
types are in themselves of little economic importance, but are 
invaluable as indicating the near proximity of the parent vein. 

Rivers erode their beds so long as their waters possess sufficient 
velocity to keep the river bottom clear of gravel. When this is 
no longer the case, and permanent deposition of material is the 
characteristic feature of any part of a river system, that part is 
said to have reached base level. Cessation of eroding activity 


obtains first in the lower part of a river course, but erosion may 
theoretically be continued in its headwaters and numerous branching 
and sub-branching tributaries until the whole country is reduced 
to base-level, and becomes so low, and the velocity of the streams 
is so far reduced, that erosion is no longer possible. This condition 
is, however, not of general occurrence in nature, for regions are 
rarely stationary, and their surface slowly rises or falls in respect 
to sea-level. In a region of depression base-level is naturally 
reached much sooner than would otherwise be the case. In a region 
of elevation, gradient is always being restored and the active life of 
the river prolonged. The general principles governing the life- 
history of rivers are of some importance from our present stand- 
point, since the gold and gravel are generally simultaneously 
deposited, and are subjected to the same natural laws. 

Deposits of auriferous alluvial gravels are termed placers, 
alluvial drifts, or more simply, " alluvials." The first term is of 
Spanish origin, and is used mainly in America ; the two latter 
obtain in Australia. Their gold is generally readily accessible to 
the individual miner, and is easily recovered by the simplest of 
means. They have, therefore, furnished a very large proportion 
of the world's gold supply, and for the same reason are the earliest 
of the gold deposits worked. Their richness, in California, Victoria, 
New Zealand, and the Klondike, has at times been extraordinary. 
Often in Victoria yields of 250 ounces gold per bucket of gravel 
have been obtained. 

The upper portions of rivers form natural sluices, where, owing 
to the velocity of the stream, gravel deposits are rare, coarse, and 
thin. The earliest permanent deposit of gravel takes place when 
the gradient of a stream becomes sufficiently flat or the valley 
widens so that the waters of the stream are no longer confined. 
In the latter case, a " fan " results at the debouchure of the stream 
from the narrow into the broader valley or into the plains. They 
are especially characteristic of tropical and other rivers subject 
to periodic high floods. Rivers debouching from the Himalayas into 
the Gangetic and Brahmaputra plains show this feature especially 
well, gold and coarse gravel being deposited only within a short 
distance of the debouchure. Further out, sand, and still further, 
fine mud, are deposited. Owing to changes in the direction of rivers 
or in the level of river valleys, gravels may be covered by sands 
or clays, and those again by gravels. Since gold is deposited with 
gravels, there may therefore occur in the history of the alluvium of 
any given valley, two or more periods of auriferous deposition. 

It may be stated as a general rule that the deposition of gold 
in gravels arises from a diminution in the velocity of the trans- 



porting waters. The diminution may be general, as in the case 
above-mentioned, or may be local. The latter occurs when the 
river crosses the strike of schistose or slaty strata, the upturned 
edges of which act as natural riffles, the gold being deposited in the 
crevices of the slate or schist. The down-stream side of a rocky 
bar is for the same reason a convenient lodging place for auriferous 
gravels, as also is the inner or concave side of a river bend. An 
uneven bottom is favourable to deposition, and a soft bottom is 
likely to retain more gold than a hard one. 

A marked concentration of gold is observable towards the 
bottom of placer gravels, the richest deposits, as a rule, lying on 
" bed-rock." Where, however, conditions have permitted, without 

'l|i\V' / 'lll\\\ N -///|n^W/ //l , r .^ '< Mll ^ '/,/nu^ "//|n^"mV^",Y 

'<!,'{&: :^',' .'.!: *" !/^\"''/^i///Sai; 

Fig. 67. Showing Gbavels Deposited by a Meandering River (Spurr). 

prior scouring of the bed, deposition on clays or on cemented sands, 
the upper surfaces of these prevent the downward progress of gold, 
and are then known as " false bottoms." 

The motion of a grain of gold in course of transport along 
a stream bed is neither forward horizontally due to the force of 
the stream current nor downwards vertically due to the force 
of gravity, but is in a direction compounded of the two. a Lateral 
currents may tend to deflect the falling grain sidewise, forming 
deposits on the beaches of the inner or concave side of the river. 
It has recently been shown that the course of stream-waters is 

a Park, Bull. N.Z. Geol. Surv., Xo. 5, 1908, p. 36. 


spiral when passing round river curves," thus explaining the deposit 
on the inner side, since the lower part of the spiral flow is from 
the deep outer to the shallow inner bank. The stream itself com- 
bining a progressive with a lateral motion may thus be said to 
screw itself like a corkscrew round a bend. The fall of gold in 
gravel is not, of course, continuous, but takes place only on dis- 
turbance of the gravel. This is generally effected by the force 
of the stream current. It has recently been suggested b that the 
necessary disturbance of the gravel is effected during a downward 
" creep " of the valley gravels entirely comparable to that well 
known to occur on hill-sides. Where gravels are absent from a 
stream bed owing to scour, there also gold is wanting. Rocky 
potholes, contrary to the general belief, rarely contain gold. Coarse 
gold is certainly caught in them, but the continuous grinding of 
the stones generally to be found in these holes soon reduces it to 
powder, in which state it is readily carried away by the swirl of 
the waters. 

Local enrichment of gravels may take place below the junction 
of two auriferous valleys, or, as is often the case, below the outcrop 
of gold-veins crossed by the stream. A general relation between 
the coarseness of gold grains and of gravel may be made out for 
most regions, fine gold occurring, as might be expected, with the 
finer gravel ; it is possible that examination might establish a 
fairly constant ratio. For the same reason " black sand," containing 
magnetite, ilmenite, garnet, and other heavy minerals, is a common 
associate of gold in gravels. 

Ideal rivers for the concentration of gold are those in 
which natural conditions approach most closely those of a long 
sluice ; they therefore possess even, rapidly-flowing waters, have a 
regular gradient, and are at times subject to minor floods. These 
conditions are practically fulfilled only in temperate zones. In 
tropical countries subject to monsoons, where rivers are in -high 
flood during a portion of the year, and are dry or nearly so during 
the remainder, the continuous concentration necessary to yield 
placer deposits of economic value is absent. Deposition of gold 
in these regions takes place only after the monsoon or rainy season, 
when the rivers are falling and when the boulders and pebbles 
on the surface of the gravels furnish convenient, but local, riffles. 
Under these conditions gold is deposited only in the tiny eddies 
formed by the passage of the falling flood waters over deposits 
of coarse gravel. It therefore occurs at the heads and tails 
of gravel banks and islands in the river-bed, and on the beaches 

a Lodge, "Nature," Nov. 7, 1907, p. 7. 
&Min. Sci. Press, Aug. 15, 1908. 


of the inner sides of the river curves. The gold deposits are 
rarely more than a few inches below the surface of the gravel, 
and those formed at the close of a rainy season are scattered deep 
and wide by the monsoon floods of the ensuing season. Many 
economic investigations have failed from neglect to recognise 
the impossibility, under the foregoing conditions, of 'bottom" 

Surface concentration entirely akin to the above takes place 
locally and to a limited extent in many rivers in temperate regions, 
but in these rivers by far the greater portion of the gold is deposited 
on or near a " bottom," false or true, as a necessary consequence 
of the persistence, perhaps for centuries, of a stream in the same 
restricted channel. 

Beach Sands. Marine placers are the only other form of 
auriferous alluvial deposit requiring notice in this section. They 
are confined almost entirely to the shores of the Pacific Ocean, but 
their occurrence on the coasts of Nova Scotia, Ireland, and Portugal 
shows that the foregoing restriction is purely coincidental. They 
perhaps attain their greatest development on the west coast of 
the South Island of New Zealand, on the beaches of Oregon, 
and below Port Arthur on the Liau-Tung Peninsula. The 
richest beach sands known appear to have been those of the Gold 
Bluff, Klamath County, Oregon, where narrow beaches at the 
foot of overhanging bluffs serve as concentrating floors for the 
auriferous sands thrown within reach of the ocean waves by cliff 
falls. Concentration on these beaches takes place only when the 
surf strikes the shore line at an acute angle ; when the surf beats 
at right angles gravel -and sand are cast up. The process of con- 
centration is simple : the strong surf casts up gold, gravel, heavy 
minerals, and sand, while the weaker and less rapidly flowing 
undertow removes only the sand and lighter stones. With the 
gold is generally associated much black sand. On the auriferous 
marine beaches of New Zealand pebbles or stones are absent, and 
the gold is contained entirely in " black sand." The distribution 
of beach sands, both in time and place, is erratic, the requisite 
degree of concentration being generally attained only after heavy 
storms. Once formed, beach deposits, when being worked for 
their gold content, are immediately removed beyond the reach of 
subsequent storms, since these, if coming from a slightly different 
direction, destroy the previously formed deposit. South-west gales 
are in New Zealand considered the most favourable for the production 
of rich layers of black sand. The gold of these deposits is invariably 
flaky ; that of Oregon is often bi-concave with well-defined rims, 
due possibly to rolling edgewise when moving up and down the 


beach. The deposits of Oregon are continued north to Washington 
and south to California. Other notable beach placers are those of 
Carelmapu and Punta Arenas, Chili ; the shores of the Sea of 
Okhotsk ; at Unga Island, Nome, and Cape Yagtag, Alaska ; and 
on the northern coast of New South Wales. Those of Cape Yagtag 
are remarkable in that they carry garnet without the ordinary 
associates of gold in beach sands, viz., magnetite and ilmenite. 
In Oregon and New South Wales and at Nome, ancient auriferous 
beach sands are worked above present high water level. At Nome 
two such beaches may be traced. 

Deep Leads. The placer-deposits that have heretofore 
been described are of recent origin and lie at or near the surface. 
Auriferous gravels of greater age are liable to be subjected to all the 
vicissitudes of erosion or sedimentation attendant on orogenic 
movements in the given region. With depression of the region 
many hundreds of feet of sand and clay may be superposed on the 
gravels. In the two principal regions containing buried placers, 
viz., California and Victoria, the ordinary covering of alluvium has 
been capped by thick flows of basaltic lava, and to this capping 
the ancient gravels of California, at least, largely owe their preser- 
vation. Greatly depressed placers are, from their depth, and hence 
from the great bodies of water contained in them and in the 
superincumbent strata, generally economically inaccessible ; it is 
when they have, in the course of great earth-movements, been 
elevated above the permanent water-level of the country, that their 
gold becomes readily available to mining. The buried placers of 
California have been elevated to an average height above sea-level 
of 2,600 feet along the western flanks of the Sierra Nevada, and 
have shared in the late Tertiary uplift of that great range. In 
Victoria similar buried gravels are commonly termed " deep leads." 
Akin to those due to ancient fluviatile action are ancient lacustrine 
auriferous gravels, as those of the Blue Spur, New Zealand. 

It will be evident that during regional depression and subsequent 
elevation, the drainage system of a country may be materially 
modified. The modification has been notable in California, where 
the existing streams have intersected the ancient buried channels 
almost at right angles, and have cut great gorges in them, the 
bed of the present stream being occasionally 1,500 feet below that 
of the ancient channel. In this way also great lengths of the course 
of the ancient rivers have been obliterated, and the adjacent country 
so eroded that the course of the ancient channel may now be traced 
only at intervals high up on the flanks of a mountain range. It 
may even follow a ridge, a feature of not uncommon occurrence 
when a basaltic lava flow has filled an ancient valley. In this 



case the lava has resisted denudation while the softer bed-rock of 
the valley sides has been worn away, leaving a lava-capped ridge, 
as shown in the accompanying section. (Fig. 68.) In the same 
way hill-tops of cemented or lava-topped gravel may be formed. 

In Victoria the general direction of river drainage has not 
changed since the deposition of the deep leads, and the channels 
of modern streams are therefore either superimposed on the deep 
leads or are parallel to them. No great amount of elevation has 
taken place in Victoria, and the country has rather been subjected 
to a general north and south tilting, depressing the lower (northern) 
portions of the channels and raising the upper (southern) portions. 


'/////, ////// ////// 


Fig. 68. Ideal Section showing Relative Position 1 of " Benches " aXd of Buried River 

Channels Covered by Basalt Flow {Hobson). 

1. Capping of clay and soil. 2. Auriferous gravels. 3. Blue lead. 

The tilting has occasionally proceeded so far as locally to change 
the direction of fall of the bed-rock. On account of the absence 
of marked regional elevation, the ancient placers of Victoria 
fail to show the high-level " benches " (river terraces) so charac- 
teristic of the Calif ornian deposits. 

The gold of deep leads, as might be expected from analogy with 
the deposits of modern rivers, is not evenly distributed through- 
out the lead, either vertically or longitudinally. The deepest 
part of the lead is termed the " gutter," and normally pursues a 
sinuous course. The gutter is often the richest part of the lead, 
but the best runs of gold may nevertheless, as in existing streams, 
be contained in beaches high above the gutter. Buried " benches " 
are known along the course of deep leads, which also show all the 
branching into tributary streams displayed by modern placers. 
The boulders of the deep lead gravels of Victoria are, on the average, 
less than 6 inches in diameter. They may, however, range up to 
3 feet, and, very rarely, to 12 feet. The general sequence of 


strata in a deep lead is gravel, sand, and clay, with often a car- 
bonaceous layer overlying the clay ; this sequence may be repeated 
several times. The normal colour of the chief Calif ornian leads is 
blue, from the presence of ferrous compounds. The colour changes 
to rusty brown on exposed surfaces. Cementation by ferruginous 
oxides is common in deep leads, the resultant indurated mass being 
termed a " cement." Notable enrichments occur in many deep 
leads below the junction of two streams and also below the inter- 
section with auriferous zones or reefs. 

The principal deep leads of California lie on the western Sierra 
Nevada ranges, in Yuba, Sierra, Placer, and Nevada counties, in 
the region drained by the Feather, Yuba, and Bear Rivers. A 
deep lead on the eastern slopes of the Sierra Nevada has recently 
been described by Reid. 6 It crosses from Lake Tahoe to Washoe 
Lake. The general age of the Californian placers is Neocene 
(Miocene and Pliocene) ; c that of the Victorian deep gravels is 
late Pliocene. 

Range in Geological Time of Placers. A consideration of 
the range in geological time of auriferous alluvial deposits at once 
reveals a remarkable feature, viz., that all important placers are 
of Tertiary age, and that of these the majority are Recent, Pliocene, 
or Miocene in age. Few are Eocene and fewer still Cretaceous. 
Older than Cretaceous there are no undoubted examples of econo- 
mically valuable deposits of placer gold. Possibly, however, an 
exception to this statement may be made in favour of the Permo- 
Carboniferous conglomerates of Tallawang in New South Wales. 
These have not been described of late years by any geologist, but 
on the evidence offered many years ago by Wilkinson there seems 
little doubt of the alluvial origin of the contained gold. Similar 
auriferous conglomerates were reported also many years ago, by 
Daintree, from Peak Downs, Queensland. Jurassic auriferous 
conglomerates have been described by Lindgren d from the Mariposa 
series near Mine Hill, Calaveras County, California, and Cretaceous 
(pre-Chico) placers by Dunn e from the Klamath range, Oregon ; 
but exception has been taken by Fairbanks/ to the alluvial character 
of the gold, which is considered by him to be due in both cases to 

There are at least two great goldfields whose features of 
auriferous deposition must be considered in detail before this question 

a Wilkinson, H. L., Trans. Inst. Min. Met., XVII, 1908, p. 210. 

h Min. Sci. Press, Ap. 18, 1908, p. 524. 

c Lindgren, Jour. Geol., IV, 1896, p. 881. 

d Amer. Jour. Sci., XLVIII, 1894, p. 275. 

e 12th Ann. Rep. State Mineral., Cal., 1894, p. 459. 

/Eng. Min. Jour., Ap. 27, 1895, p. 389. 


may be dismissed, and even before any validity may be given 
to the above statement, restricting the range in geological time of 
placer deposits. Both carry gold in conglomerates and both 
are of Archaean or at least Pre-Cambrian age. The contained gold 
of each has by various geologists been claimed as placer gold, and 
by other authorities has been described as due to infiltration. 
They are the famous Witwatersrand field of the Transvaal, and 
certain occurrences near the great Homestake mine in South 

Witwatersrand. The great economic importance of the 
Witwatersrand goldfield has directed considerable attention towards 
this remarkable field, and several hypotheses have from time to 
time been advanced to account for the presence of gold within its 
" banket ' or silica-cemented conglomerate beds. Two only of 
these hypotheses have stood the stress of time and agree with 
accumulated experience, viz., the placer hypothesis of contem- 
poraneous deposition of gold and pebble, and the infiltration 
hypothesis of introduction of gold by solutions that have wandered 
through the gravels long subsequent to their deposition. The former 
is the older theory and has been excellently set forth by Becker, a 
and later, with modifications, by Gregory. h It is highly characteristic 
of the long discussion that has been carried on concerning this 
subject that there is little or no direct evidence in support of either 
hypothesis, and that the case for each rests almost entirely on the 
evidence against the opposing hypothesis. 

The older " precipitation hypothesis ' : of Schenck, Stelzner, 
De Launay, and others, which assumed that the gold had been 
deposited from a sea containing metallic sulphides and gold when 
the conglomerates were still at the surface, has been revived by 
Voit, c but in a form so modified that it becomes essentially an 
infiltration hypothesis, differing only fro.m the one generally ad- 
vanced in that it is assumed that infiltration took place at the 
surface before the conglomerates were depressed. He assumes 
that solutions loaded with metallic sulphides and gold, analogous 
apparently to those of hot springs, were brought in great quantity 
to the surface at the periods of conglomerate deposition and that 
the metalliferous content found the requisite precipitant in the 
great amount of organic matter distributed along the then existing 
coast-line. To this hypothesis there are obvious objections, and 
these arise even from the valuable and suggestive evidence offered 
in the paper itself. 

a 18th Ann. Rep. U.S. Geol. Survey, Pt. V, 1897, p. 160. 
b Trans. Inst. Min. Met., XVI, 1907, p. 1. 
c Min. Jour., Sept. 5, 1908, p. 296. 


The advocates of the placer theory base their case on a supposed 
general resemblance of the deposit to modern placers. The resem- 
blance is, however, not very marked, for the gold is exceedingly 
fine in grain, and, when sufficiently coarse to be visible to the 
naked eye, is often angular. Rounded grains, not only of gold, 
but also of pyrite, do occur, and are regarded as evidence in 
support of an alluvial origin. 

The objections to the placer hypothesis are (a) the general 
fineness in grain of the gold a fineness that in modern placers is 
paralleled only in beach sands, as those of the Snake River in 
Idaho, and of the west coast of the South Island of New Zealand ; 
(6) the total absence of those nuggets and coarse grains that are 
characteristic features of all modern gravel placers ; and (c) the 
absence of "black sands" (titanite, magnetite, and garnet), such 
as are found also in all modern beach-sand deposits where fine gold 
occurs. The rounded pyrite pebbles found in the banket are amply 
explained as concretions or as replacements from solution. 

The infiltration hypothesis assumes that the gold was deposited 
with the siliceous cement that now binds together so strongly the 
quartz-pebbles of the banket. In its support is adduced (a) the 
general evenness in grade of the gold deposit ; (6) the fineness of 
the gold ; (c) the deposition of the gold on pyrite ; (d) the general 
angularity and hackly nature of the gold grains ; (e) the deposition 
of gold along cracks in the pebbles of the banket ; and (/) the 
influence occasionally exercised by igneous dykes on the richness 
of the deposit." As an argument against the infiltration theory it 
has been advanced that the overlying and underlying quartzites 
should also have been impregnated with gold, but it has been 
shown & that the quartzites at the time of auriferous impregnation 
may have been comparatively impermeable rocks and that the 
conglomerates of the vertical series alone were sufficiently porous 
to permit of the free passage of wandering solutions. 

The validity of this objection is rapidly being impaired by 
gradually accumulating evidence showing that while gold is generally 
restricted to the conglomerate beds it nevertheless occurs in economic 
quantities in normal quartz -veins, in quartzites, in slaty schists, 
and in certain pyritous bands in the footwall of the Main Reef. 
These are, of course, not proofs of an infiltration origin for the 
whole of the gold of the Witwatersrand, but they at the least show 
that in the given cases the gold contained is not alluvial. A normal 
white quartz-vein intercalated in the footwall quartzite of the Main 

a e.g., Worcester Dyke, cited by Hammond, Trans. Amer. Inst. M.E., XXXI, 
1901, p. 844. 

b Maclaren, Trans. Inst. Min. Met., XVII, 1908, p. 50. 


Reef has been worked successfully at the Rose Deep Mine ; at 
Kroomdraai similar gold-quartz veins occur in the schistose and 
pyritous hanging-wall of the Black Reef, a much higher horizon 
than that of the Main Reef. Patches of quartzite on the hanging- 
wall of the Main Reef contain appreciable quantities of gold ; as 
also do certain ferruginous schists in the footwall of the Black Reef. 
A well-defined dense pyritic quartzite underlies the Main Reef and 
is distant from it about 90 feet. This band has been opened up on 
many mines in the Central and Eastern Rand. Its tenor has at 
times been high ; this is especially the case when the band is very 
narrow, and in some cases (Cinderella Deep) a tenor of hundreds of 
pennyweights gold per ton has been reached." The width of 
the pyritic band at times reaches 25 feet ; at that width it is not, 
however, workable at a profit. The foregoing facts are therefore 
ample evidence that infiltration of gold is not restricted to con- 
glomerate bands, and that it has taken place elsewhere when 
conditions have been favourable. 

The absence of " verticals '" or fissures by which auriferous 
solutions may obviously have risen to the conglomerate beds is 
urged as an objection to impregnation. The absence, however, 
of an undoubted precipitant of gold within the conglomerate points 
rather to a general deposition arising from physical changes in the 
solution than to one from chemical reaction. But in any case, 
deposition, either of silica or of gold, can hardly have taken place in 
narrow fissures in which the solutions are conceived to be still highly 
heated and to be travelling with comparative rapidity. More- 
over these fissures, representing as they did the planes of structural 
weakness, are precisely those that would be occupied by later 
extrusions of igneous matter, of course with complete obliteration 
of the original characters of the walls. The absence of well-defined 
ore-shoots has also been urged against the infiltration theory. 6 
Ore-shoots are, however, essentially a result of local changes in the 
saturation of metalliferous solutions or are brought about by 
local conditions ; they must necessarily be absent where conditions 
are fairly uniform over wide areas. Nevertheless there is a tendency 
in depth for the gold of the banket-reefs to aggregate to shoots. 

With the data at present at hand, the gold of the Witwatersrand 
banket may certainly be most conveniently considered to be due to 
infiltration. It is possible, though there is no evidence whatever 
for the assumption, that the banket originally contained placer 
gold, which has been dissolved and redeposited elsewhere in the 
conglomerate. In such a case, however, there would have been, in 

a Voit, loc. cit. sup. 
" Gregory, loc. cit. 


some places at least, local aggregations of gold to nugget size, and 
it has already been shown that nuggets or masses of gold are 
unknown, at least at depth, where there has been no possibility 
of secondary free-gold enrichment. In any case, on such an 
assumption, the hypothesis becomes essentially one of infiltration, 
when it is scarcely profitable to enquire as to the original form of 
the gold taken into solution. 

By analogy, moreover, with other auriferous occurrences in the 
Transvaal, and especially with those of the Lydenburg district, 
the Witwatersrand gold may reasonably be referred to the same 
agents that have obviously been effective in the latter cases, viz., the 
diabasic masses (or rather their advanced, contemporaneous, or 
consequent, heated solutions) that intrude through the conglomerate 
"reefs " of the Rand, or overlie, as sills, the flat-lying reefs of the 
Pilgrim's Rest field. 

South Dakota The auriferous Cambrian conglomerates of 
the neighbourhood of the great Homestake Mine in South Dakota 
have long been considered" to owe their gold to alluvial deposition. 
There are, however, in the immediate vicinity widespread im- 
pregnations of secondary silica that carry gold. These are nearly 
always connected with the so-called " verticals," or vertical fissures 
that pass down into the underlying Algonkian schists, and that 
have obviously served as channels for the uprising metalliferous 
solutions. Emmons, l ' who has conducted the most recent geological 
examination of this area, and who is pre-eminently well qualified 
to judge, has concluded from the waterworn character of some of 
the gold and from its concentration near bed-rock, that some at 
least of the gold of the conglomerate is of placer origin, but that 
the enrichment of the deposit to one of economic value is due 
entirely to the work of secondary auriferous solutions, which are 
also responsible for the pyrite with which the auriferous portions 
of the conglomerate are invariably associated. The pyrite is often 
found occupying fissures and cavities in the pebbles. Clear evidence 
of local secondary enrichment is afforded by the presence of films 
of gold in the laminations of the schist and in crevices from 3 to 10 
feet below the base of the conglomerate. 

Nullagine, Western Australia. The Nullagine auriferous 
conglomerates of the Pilbara field, Western Australia, closely 
resemble those of the Witwatersrand, but in addition to the gold 
contained in the siliceous matrix between the pebbles, gold is 
also found in thin white quartz-veins that are parallel to the bedding 

a Devereux, Trans. Amer. Inst. M.E., X, 1889, p. iGo. 

h Emmons, S. F., Prof. Papers U.S. Geol. Surv., Xo. 26, 1904, p. 99. 


planes. The veins are much richer in gold than the siliceous cement, 
and there is thus evidence to support the view that the gold of the 
latter is due to infiltration. 

It is noteworthy that these ancient Cambrian or Pre-Cambrian 
conglomerates are all highly silicified and pyritised. They all, it 
would appear, owe their gold to infiltration rather than to con- 
temporaneous deposition. The question therefore arises as to the 
reason for the restriction of undoubted placer deposits to the 
Tertiary period. It is not conceivable that conditions of denudation 
different to those in existence at the present day prevailed in the 
Palaeozoic and Mesozoic periods. The strata of these periods 
contain numerous conglomerate beds that are situated in the 
vicinity of older auriferous regions. Conglomerates of Gondwana 
(Permo-Triassic) age are largely developed in India, Eastern Aus- 
tralia, South Africa, and the Argentine. They are, it is true, for 
the most part of glacial origin, but such an origin does not preclude 
the possibility of gold deposits, for the rewash of recently 
deposited glacial matter has yielded auriferous deposits of economic 
value. It is therefore probable that wherever Palaeozoic or 
Mesozoic conglomerates were formed in the degradation of an 
auriferous area, they contained alluvial gold distributed in >k leads >! 
precisely analogous to those already described from Victoria and 
California. It is believed that these ancient gravels have all, in 
the course of orogenic movements, been depressed below the ground- 
water level, and into the region of the alkaline deep-seated waters. 
Here the gold has been dissolved and removed, probably to be re- 
deposited as free gold in clean quartz in adjacent rocks, or possibly to 
pass to the sea, not again to be concentrated in economic degree 
for long geological ages. Should, however, the gold grains, prior to 
the introduction of a solvent, be enclosed in silica (acid siliceous 
solutions being assumed to have no effect on gold), the placer-gold 
may be preserved for an indefinite time. Hence we have the 
original gold of the Homestake Cambrian occurrences, and possibly 
also the faintly auriferous conglomerates of France and England. 
But such a preservation would appear to be exceptional, and 
ancient conglomerates are on the whole devoid of gold. It is 
further noteworthy that rich ancient gravels, as those of California 
and Victoria, occupy regions that have not suffered a notable 
depression. Admitting the foregoing speculation we have therefore 
a complete cycle of auriferous transference, from deep-seated vein 
to surface placer, and from depressed placer to vein. 



Source of Gold. In the investigation of auriferous deposits 
no feature stands out in greater relief than the constant association 
of the primary goldfields with igneous rocks, and it therefore becomes 
necessary to examine the evidence available for the occurrence of 
gold as an original constituent of an igneous magma. As a rule the 
evidence offered is valueless, from the impossibility of establishing 
definite criteria of authigenesis for gold and rock, and in many 
instances that have been advanced the gold with its associated 
pyrite has certainly been subsequently introduced into the cooling 
or cooled igneous rock by percolating solutions. There are, how- 
ever, certain cases that do not obviously fall within the above 
category. They have been described by Merrill/' Schultze, 6 
M6ricke, c Blake,^ Helmhacker, e Jacquet,/ Scheibe,? Brock,^ 
Catharinet,' and others. With the exception of those noted 
by Helmhacker from diorite and serpentine rocks in the 
Urals, and by Scheibe in an olivine rock from Damara 
Land, South Africa, all the foregoing are from acid rocks, that 
described by Merrill being in a normal biotite-granite from Sonora, 
Mexico, while Moricke's specimens showed native gold in pearlstone 
(obsidian) from Guanaco, Chile, as skeleton crystals in the glass 
and as inclusions in perfectly fresh plagioclase and sanidine crystals 
and in spherulites. Jacquet records the occurrence of free gold 
in the microcline of a quartz-microcline rock impregnated with 
haematite. Brock reports gold from porphyries in British Columbia ; 
Catharinet's examples are also from the same region, but in peg- 

Two instances at least of the occurrence of gold in economic 
quantities within acidic dyke rocks are known, but in both cases it 
may be clearly shown that the gold is of later origin. Both are 
fully described elsewhere in this volume and need only be mentioned 
here. The first is that of Berezovsk, Ural Mountains, where the 

a Amer. Jour. Sci., I, 1896, p. 309. 

b H. Kunz, " Chile," 1890, p. 78. 

c Tscherm. Min. Petrog. Mittheil, XII, 1891, p. 195. 

d Trans. Amer. Inst. M.E., XXVI, 1896, p. 290. 

e Oesterr. Zeit. fur Berg- nnd Hiitt., XXVIII, 1880, p. 97. 

/Mem. Geol. Surv. N.S.W., No. 5, 1894. 

9 Zeit. Deutsch. Geol. Gesell., XL, 1888, p. 611. 

hEng. Min. Jour., 1904, p. 511. 

* Eng. Min. Jour., 1905, p. 127. 



gold occurs in thin veinlets in microgranite (beresite), and the 
second is that of Omai in British Guiana, where, however, the gold 
occurs not solely in thin stringers of quartz in an aplite dyke, but 
also scattered through the mass of the aplite. The dyke is decom- 
posed to great depth, but where fresh contains notable quantities 
of auriferous pyrite, the decomposition of which has furnished the 
free gold of the upper zones. 

Despite the foregoing, however, the occurrence of free gold as 
an original constituent of unaltered igneous magmas cannot be 

Fig. 69. Thin Section showing Free Gold in Diorite from Mashonalasd (Spttrr). 
X 25 ; /. felspar ; q. quartz ; e. epidote ; k. hornblende ; m. magnetite ; g. gold. 

considered fully proven. The gold may have been caught up from 
veins or sediments by an intruding magma, or the granitic rock 
may itself be metamorphic and its gold derived from veins enclosed 
within the original rock. That apparently igneous acidic crystalline 
rocks may, in exceptional cases, be really of metamorphic origin, 
the present writer, reasoning from analogy with certain diorites 
of metamorphic origin/' fully believes. Further, the presence of 
orthoclase and albite in many normal auriferous quartz-veins 
(Bendigo, California, Cripple Creek, &c.) may suggest an explanation 

a Maclaren, Rec. Geol. Surv. India, XXXIV, 1908, p. 112. 


for the free gold in the quart z-microcline rock of Jacquet, a viz., 
that the rock matrix is essentially an aqueous deposit. It is 
interesting to note that Liversidge b records the presence of gold 
in certain European and Australian meteorites (siderolites). 

The auriferous tonalite- or quartz-diorite-gneiss of the Ayrshire 
mine, Lomagunda, Rhodesia, has been described by J. E. Spurr. c 
The rock lies between hornblende and chloritic schists, and is 
only 100 feet distant from a granite mass. It was at first considered 
to be a true diorite, but is a fresh fine-grained diorite-gneiss, com- 
posed chiefly of felspar and grey hornblende. Quartz, biotite, 
magnetite, and epidote also occur. The gold is most closely 
connected with the hornblende and magnetite, but also occurs 
rarely as inclusions in the quartz and felspar. The rock follows a 
fairly distinct bedding, and the gold may, on the whole, be reasonably 
regarded as derivative from veinlets in an older, presumably igneous 
rock now highly metamorphosed. Somewhat similar biotite-gneisses 
containing pyrites are recorded by Lacroix^ from the Mundraty 
River, Madagascar. 

The close connection between igneous rocks and auriferous 
regions may have been brought about in either or both of two 
ways : The gold may have been brought near the surface 
and within the reach of meteoric waters by inclusion within an 
ascending magma. Considerable weight was given to this view 
by the work of Becker and others on the country of the Comstock 
Lode, all tending towards the conclusion that the gold resided in 
the ferro-magnesian silicates. Don, on the contrary, has shown, 
for the igneous districts examined by him, that gold does not 
necessarily reside in the ferro-magnesian silicates. He has further 
shown that, for the given districts, the amount of gold present in 
the country rock is, as a general rule, directly proportional to the 
amount of pyrite present, and also that the amount of pyrite 
decreases inversely as the distance from the vein- fissure. Since 
the pyrite may be considered to be entirely secondary and to 
have been introduced by percolating waters, we are thus brought 
to the second view, viz., that auriferous solutions have been intro- 
duced by uprising waters that have a connection with igneous 
masses. Until detailed and extended analyses of fresh igneous 
rock and of igneous emanations have been made, the problem will 
remain a matter for pure speculation. In the absence of definite 
data, it is here assumed that the auriferous content of many waters, 

a Loc. cit. sup. 

*> Jour. Roy. Soc. N.S.W., XXVI, 1902, p. xxiv. 

r Eng. Min. Jour.. Oct. 3, 1903. 

d C. R. Acad.Sci. Paris, CXXXII, 1901, pp. 180-182. 


and especially of those which are set in circulation by intrusive 
igneous rocks, as by the Pre-Cambrian diabases, is derived from 
emanations from intrusive magmas, the emanations being finally 
dissolved in percolating waters and by them carried into vein- 
fissures. From whatever side the question is approached, primary 
auriferous deposits may be regarded as phenomena dependent 
on the extrusion of igneous magmas, and further as having an origin 
indissolubly bound up with that of metalliferous sulphides or of 
the chemically related tellurides. Work throwing light on the 
origin of pyrite is, therefore, to be welcomed as assisting enquiry 
into the genetic relations of gold. 

Transport of Gold. The gold in vein waters may most 
reasonably be regarded as ionized and balanced either as auro- 
silicanion, as thio-auranion, or as telluro-auranion ; in the first 
case the deposition products are silica and free gold ; in the second 
case, free gold and sulphides, or possibly sulphides (including 
gold-sulphide) alone ; and in the final case, gold-tellurides. The 
first combination is considered by the writer to be the probable 
form in all those veins in which free gold is found studding clean 
quartz. Even in many pyritous veins, deposition of pyrite, quartz, 
and gold has been contemporaneous. In such cases the gold 
would appear to have been held by both the first-mentioned ions 
and to have been freed on deposition. 

Since gold has never been definitely isolated from or recognised 
in underground waters all speculations on the manner in which 
it is dissolved and transported must necessarily be tentative. 
There are, however, several established solvents of gold that may 
well play important parts in the transport of gold in nature. Of 
these the chief, in the deeper zones at least, are the alkaline sulphides, 
if any value is to be placed on the widespread association of base 
sulphide and gold. The same importance cannot, for various 
reasons, be given to the solvent action of alkaline silicates, and it 
has elsewhere been shown that colloidal gold solutions, the third form 
in which gold may be transported underground, requiring, as they 
do, pure water and neutral conditions, are of doubtful occurrence. 
In this connection the experiments of Doelter" are instructive. He 
found that gold was somewhat readily soluble in an 8 per cent, solution 
of sodium carbonate with sodium silicate and an excess of carbonic 
acid. Transport of gold as an alkaline auro-silicate may thus 
be admitted. It has been seen that tellurides of gold are 
of common occurrence, and from the general chemical analogy 
between sulphides and tellurides, the latter may be considered 
to have been also transported in alkaline solution. In regions 
affected by meteoric waters possible natural solvents appear to 

"Tscherm. Min. Mittheil., XI, 1890, p. 329. 


be fairly numerous. Stokes a shows that gold is readily soluble, 
at a temperature of 200 C, in solutions of ferric chloride and cupric 
chloride, the gold forming a chloride. The percentage of gold 
dissolved increases with the temperature and with the concentration 
of the solution. Ferric sulphate also dissolves gold, but only in 
the presence of a chloride. That, however, the process of solution 
by ferric salts is not a simple reaction at normal temperatures 
and pressures is shown by the experiments of Don/ J who failed 
even with strong solutions (from 1 to 20 grains per litre) to dissolve 
either metallic gold or auriferous sulphides. The ready solubility 
of gold in alkaline sulphides has been demonstrated by various 
chemists. Skey further thought that gold was soluble in hydrogen 
sulphide, and it is probable that this reagent, though perhaps 
rather indirectly, in alkaline combination, than directly, does exercise 
a notable effect. All these reagents occur in natural waters, and 
that some solvent action does take place is indicated by the presence 
of gold in the sinter of sulphurous springs in Nevada and New 
Zealand.^ As long ago as 1877, Liversidge e found gold in recently- 
formed pyrite that had been deposited on twigs in hot springs near 
Lake Taupo, New Zealand. 

Waters containing free chlorine, or compounds that may 
furnish free chlorine, are always competent to dissolve gold. The 
not improbable combination in nature of an acid, manganese 
di-oxide, and an alkaline chloride, would therefore fulfil the con- 
ditions requisite for the solution of gold./ 

The existence of gold in sea-water had long been suspected 
before its occurrence was qualitatively proved by Sonstadt.^ whose 
further quantitative determination showed results roughly estimated 
at less than 1 grain gold per ton. Quantitative determinations have 
also been made by Liversidge, Don, and others, showing results 
always less than 1 grain per ton. The presence of gold in the waters 
offthe ocean being thus established, it has been suggested that the 
gold of fissure-veins in sedimentary rocks has been derived from 
sea-water carried down during the course of deposition of the 
sediments, and from them has been removed into the fissures by 

a Econ. Geol., I, 1906, p. 650. 

b Trans. Am. Inst. M.E., XXVII, 1898, p. 598. 

c Skey, Trans. N.Z. Inst,, III, 1870, p. 216 ; Egleston, Trans. Am. Inst. M.E., 
IX, r 1880-1, p. 639 ; Becker, Am. Jonr. Sci., XXXIII, 1887, p. 207 ; Liversidge, Proc. 
Roy! Soc. N.S.W., XXVII, 1893, p. 303. 

d Becker, Mon. U.S. Geol. Surv., XIII, 1888, p. 344 ; Maclaren, Geol. Mag., 1906, 
p. 511. 

e Jour. Roy. Soc. X.S.W., XI, 1877, p. 262. 

/Don, Trans. Am. Inst, M.E., XXVII. 1897. p. 564; Pearce. ibid.. XXII, 1893, 
p. 739; Rickard, T. A., ibid., XXVI, 1896, p. 978. 
tfChem. Xews, XXV, 1872, pp. 196, 231, 241. 

/I . *\ 1 T ~> 


lateral secretion. There is little to be said for this assumption. 
On the other hand, it is reasonable to assume that a proportion 
of the steam ejected from maritime volcanoes has been derived 
from the adjacent seas. In such cases the contained gold is deposited 
within the rock, either in fissures or vents, or in the rock-mass itself. 
Notable quantities of gold may thus have been introduced into 
the solid portion of the outer crust. 

Lenher's experiments," showing that gold is soluble in sulphuric, 
phosphoric, and other acids if a compound, as manganese di-oxide, 
capable of liberating oxygen be present, are of great importance as 
affecting the solution of gold in the upper zones of veins that lie 
within the reach of oxidising waters. Van Hise has clearly shown 
that ferric and other -ic salts are abundantly produced in the zone 
of weathering by the action of descending solutions on the minerals 
of the deeper zone, as pyrite. Their solvent action becomes, there- 
fore, of considerable importance when considering, as will later 
be done in detail, the problems of secondary enrichment. 

Epitomising briefly the course pursued by gold from its 
hypothetical magmatic host, it may be said that in the deeper 
zones transport upwards is effected by alkaline sulphides or tellurides 
and alkaline silicates ; in the vadose zone or zone of weathering, 
as the surface of the land is gradually lowered by erosion, the free 
gold, gold-telluride, or possible gold-sulphide of the uppermost 
portions of the deep zone is attacked by acid chloride waters and 
by them is carried either upward to or near the actual outcrop, 
depositing their content as free gold, or downward to the permanent 
ground water-level, where the gold is deposited with base sulphides. 

Dispersion of Gold in Nature- The dispersion of gold is 
effected both by mechanical and by chemical agencies. Water, 
either liquid or solid, acting at the earth's surface is the chief of 
the former. In rapidly-flowing streams with hard rock bottoms 
with or without pot holes, coarse gold is in the course of time 
triturated to fine flaky powder, in which condition it is transported 
with ease even at or near the surface of the stream waters, and 
comes to rest only with the finest of sediments. In certain rivers 
the fine " float " gold is so abundant that its capture by " fly- 
catching ' tables has proved a profitable avocation. Such gold 
may pass to the sea to be deposited in fine muds, or on the sand or 
gravel beaches along which it is swept by tide or current. In either 
case it is almost certain that the ultimate fate of the gold is 
solution in sea-water. 

f/ Jour. Amer. Chem. Soc, XXVI, 1904, p. 550. 


In tropical regions, subject to violent and short-lived floods, 
rivers and streams are, in general, agents of dispersion rather than 
of concentration of gold. Throughout India, a country typical 
of these conditions, from the Himalayas to Cape Comorin, small 
quantities of gold (rarely more than -?>-grain gold per ton) may be 
obtained wherever coarse gravels are found ; yet in all that extensive 
area no placer aggregations of economic value are found or are 
likely to be found. 

In high latitudes or at high altitudes glaciers exercise a minor 
dispersive effect. They wear down the outcrops of lodes that have 
possibly undergone " secondary enrichment " prior to the period 
of glaciation, and so scatter fragments of auriferous quartz through 
a great mass of morainic matter. 

Coastal erosion attacking an exposed " deep lead " or a gold- 
quartz vein, may destroy the aggregation of the gold and disperse 
it widely through sands. Examples of the latter case are not 

No evidence is at present available indicating a natural pre- 
cipitation of gold from sea-water, and the sea must, on the whole, 
and so far as chemical action is concerned, be regarded as an agent 
solely of dispersion. 

Underground waters, by virtue of their heat or of their contained 
salts, may act as a dispersing agent. It has been shown that alkaline 
sulphides in the deep regions and -ic salts in the vadose zone are 
ready solvents of gold, and it is quite conceivable that re-deposition 
of gold from these and other wandering solvents may result in a 
more widely-distributed deposit than the original from which 
the gold was derived. 

It has already been remarked as a noteworthy fact that, so far 
as our knowledge goes, extensive auriferous alluvial deposits are 
confined to Tertiary strata that have not yet been depressed to 
any considerable depth beneath the earth's surface. It cannot be 
conceived that the agencies of denudation, erosion, and deposition 
during the Palaeozoic and Mesozoic periods differed materially 
either in character or in degree from those now in operation. The 
conclusions arrived at therefore have been that auriferous alluvial 
gravels ivere deposited, but that from the necessarily porous nature of 
the gravels or conglomerates, such beds when depressed below 
ground-water level afforded ideal conditions for the leaching action 
of deep-seated solutions, which have carried the gold to be deposited 
elsewhere, possibly in a notable state of aggregation in fissures, 
possibly widely diffused in percolating waters. 

Another method of dispersion of gold is finally admitted. It is 
purely hypothetical, but yet is sufficiently reasonable. It is assumed 



that igneous magmas may eat their way toward the earth's surface. 
In such cases any gold formerly contained and concentrated in 
the rock so absorbed is in the course of time distributed throughout 
the magma. 

The assays of Wagoner, a on rocks far removed from known 
metalliferous deposits, show how widely spread are gold and silver 
at the outer surface of the earth's crust. His researches appear 
to have been conducted with the extreme care necessary in these 
assays where litharge, which is apt to contain unsuspected quan- 
tities of gold, is used. The figures given below are in milligrams 
per metric ton ; the rocks assayed are mainly Calif ornian. 




Syenite, Nevada . 
Granite, Nevada . 




















Marble, Carrara 









It is probable that the wide distribution of gold above indicated 
is closely connected with that of pyrite. 


"Trans. Amer. Inst. M.E., XXXI, 1901, p. 808. 




Precipitants of Gold. In whatever form and by whatever 
means gold is transported, it is deposited either as free gold or as 
a telluride of gold. It is, as has already been indicated, at present 
impossible to say whether deposition as a sulphide also takes place. 
The amount of free energy shown by the complex ions of gold indi- 
cates ready reduction of the element, and the precipitants of gold 
are consequently numerous. They may be gaseous, as sulphuretted 
hydrogen, liquid, as a solution of ferrous sulphate, or solid, as 
numerous sulphides and as gold itself ; again, a physical modification 
of auriferous solutions may induce precipitation. Of the active 
physical factors, decrease of temperature and decrease of pressure 
are the most potent ; minor physical agents are those involved 
in a modification of the degree of dilution of an auriferous solution, 
and in the change from the colloidal to the crystalline state. 

The chief of the chemical agents of precipitation is probably the 
base-metal sulphide group. These act mainly below the ground-water 
level, and there is very often a fairly definite relation between the 
occurrence of gold and of the base sulphide, which is generally 
pyrite or chalcopyrite. Thus Don a shows for the Victorian rocks 
that where sulphides are abundant the total amount of gold is 
likely to be great, and that when a small quantity of pyrite is 
present, gold also is lacking. The same relations also hold for many 
Calif ornian gold-quartz veins. b In these cases it is believed that 
the gold has been carried in solution as an alkaline sulphide, and 
the same cause that induced the precipitation of the base sulphide 
has induced that of the free gold. Skey, c Liversidge,^ and others, 
have shown that nearly all natural base metallic sulphides will 
precipitate gold, at least, from auric chloride solutions. This 
reaction suggests a prior deposition in nature of the base sulphides, 
which then act as a precipitant for gold. According to Skey, one 
part of pyrite will precipitate more than eight parts of gold. Never- 
theless, it must be pointed out that while laboratory experiments 
have shown that deposition of gold from solution in these cases takes 
place as a shining metallic film on the pyrite, no gilded pyrite or 
other sulphide is known in nature. 

Trans. Araer. Inst. M.E., XXVII, 1898, p. 567. 

& Lindgren, 17th Ann. Rep. U.S. Geol. Surv., II, 1896, p. 182. 

c Trans. N.Z. Inst., Ill, 1870, p. 225. 

^Proc. Roy. Soc. N.S.W., XXVII, 1893, p. 303. 



The recent work of Lenher and Hall," on the reducing power 
of tellurides of gold, is of great interest when considering the dis- 
tribution of free gold in gold-telluride veins and ore-channels. 
They found that the natural tellurides of gold, silver, and mercury 
(calaverite. krennerite, sylvanite, nagyagite, hessite, and coloradoite) 
readily reduce metallic gold from its solutions. While most of the 
free gold of Kalgoorlie, for example, is undoubtedly derived from 
the decomposition of the tellurides by vadose waters, there are 
occasional occurrences of free gold at considerable depths which 
are rather to be attributed to the reducing power of tellurides on 

Figs. 70 add 71. Showing Relations of Gold, Telluride-ore, and Quartz at (a) Goldfield, 
Nevada, and (b) Kalooorlie, Western Australia (Skarwood). 

ascending solutions containing gold. It is conceivable that this action 
may be of considerable economic importance. 

Selenium and selenides precipitate gold in the same manner 
as tellurides ; in both cases time is an important factor in obtaining 
complete precipitation. 

In the zone of oxidation -ous salts and oxides are potent pre- 
cipitating agents. The most notable of these are ferrous sulphate 
and ferrous chloride. Stokes b claims that the chemical action varies 
with the temperature, and that the reactions are, as shown below, 

Au CI, + 3 Fe Cl 2 < ^ZT > Au + 3 Fe Cl 3 . 

With a falling temperature the result is shown on the right- 
hand side of the equation ; with a rising temperature the tendency 
to revert to the salts shown on the left-hand side is followed. 

Jour. Am. Chem. Soc, XXIV, 1902, p. 918. 
6 Econ. Geo!., I, 1906, p. 650. 


Ferrous sulphate is often abundant in the waters of the oxidised 
zone. The old disused workings of the Cambria mine, Thames 
Goldfield, New Zealand, at times contain stalactites of ferrous 
sulphate (green vitriol) 3 feet in length. It is to be noted that 
according to Moissan a exceedingly dilute solutions of gold in 
complex media are not precipitable by ferrous salts or by sulphurous 

A most important reducing agent is organic matter. Its 
association with gold has long been noted, and is described in detail 
elsewhere in various sections of this treatise. In placer deposits 
the wire gold found at the surface is commonly ascribed to the 
reducing action of grass roots, since the wires often assume a similar 
form. The occurrence of auriferous pyrite replacing woody matter 
in alluvial drifts has already been mentioned. The deposition of 
gold is here perhaps not directly dependent on the carbonaceous 
matter but on the pyrite itself reduced by the woody tissues. 

Numerous instances are on record of gold in the ash or in 
the pyrite of coal or coaly matter. The ash of the pyritous 
coal of Batu Belaman (Assem Assem, Tanah-Laut, Borneo) 
contains gold. 6 Coaly matter intercalated in the quartzites 
of the WitAvatersrand occasionally carries high tenors in gold, 
some, indeed, from the Buffelsdoorn mine, Klerksdorp, assaying 
as high as 800 ounces per ton, so that the ash was coloured 
purple by the gold. The gold was exceedingly fine, but on close 
examination it was found to be scattered through the coal. It 
was only, however, in the immediate neighbourhood of a diabase 
dyke that the coal contained gold ; elsewhere in the mine 
it was barren/ 

A notable instance also occurs in California, where, in the 
so-called " pocket " region in Tuolumne County, north of Sonora, 
pockets of gold are developed only where a silicified porphyry 
dyke crosses a carbonaceous band of slated Gold is also reported 
from the coal of Gippsland, Victoria. Some 65 miles south-west 
from the goldfield of Deadwood, South Dakota, are the Cambria 
coal seams. The coke of this coal is stated to contain between 
1 and 2 dwts. gold, assays occasionally showing 3 dwts. The coal 
is used in smelting the gold-ores of Deadwood. 6 

The most remarkable instances of the influence of carbonaceous 
matter on auriferous deposition are furnished by the Eastern 

^"Traitede Chiraie Minerale," Paris, 1906, V, 602. 

h Jaarb. Mijnw. Xed. O. Ind., 1885, II, p. 114. 

c Stephens, Aust. Min. Stand., Sept. 8, 1904. 

^Min. Sci. Press, June 6, 1908 ; see also 12th Ann. Rep. State Min. Cal., p. 299.' 

eChenhall, Proc. Inst. C.E., CXXXIX, 1900, p. 326. 


Australian goldfields of Ballarat and Gympie. In the former case 
auriferous deposition is common and abundant where vertical 
carbonaceous "indicator" bands are intersected by flat "floors' 1 
of quartz. The indicators are occasionally highly pyritous, and, 
according to Gregory, at times contain rutile. Deposition of gold 
here, as in many other cases, may therefore be primarily due to 
the presence of sulphides, themselves due to the influence of 
carbonaceous matter. It is not probable that solid carbon- 
aceous matter plays an active and primary part in auriferous 
deposition ; it acts rather by the liberation of hydrocarbons (liquid 
or gaseous) which form the actual reducers. Again it, or its 
products, may produce -ous salts, which are then the immediate 
precipitants of gold. That carbonaceous shale is a ready reducer 
in nature has been abundantly proved by Rickard a and others. 

At the Gympie goldfield quartz-veins intersect bedded Permo- 
Carboniferous strata, but it is only where they cross carbonaceous 
shales that they are notably auriferous. At Croydon, in Queensland, 
abundance of graphite in the " pug " of the veins is considered a 
most favourable indication of high tenors in the gold-quartz. The 
gold-quartz lenses of the eastern side of the Gadag goldfield in 
India, follow for several miles a narrow carbonaceous argillite band. 
Instances of the potent reducing effect of carbonaceous matter in 
veins might be multiplied indefinitely, but sufficient has been said 
to indicate its extreme importance in the formation of gold-deposits 
of economic value. 

Some little light is thrown on the deposition of gold by a 
general consideration of the gangues and minerals with which it 
is commonly associated. How numerous these are has recently been 
shown by Merrill, whose list & contains 48 members, each showing 
a different association of gold. It may here once again be empha- 
sized that, notwithstanding this long list, to two alone, viz., to 
quartz and to base sulphides, may a genetic* association be attributed. 
The " indicator " minerals so largely relied upon on various fields 
have a purely local value, and no general deductions, based on their 
presence or absence, may be drawn for other fields. On a given 
field, any or some of the following minerals may be valuable 
indicators : calcite, graphite, chlorite, serpentine, native arsenic, 
stibnite, galena, tetradymite, chalcopyrite, chalcocite, pyrite, 
pyrrhotite, pyrargyrite, proustite, and others. 

Concentration of Gold in Nature. Since the degree of 
aggregation of gold is of vital importance from an economic point 
of view, it is necessary to briefly review the causes that have formed 

Trans. Ainer. Inst. M.E., XXVI, 1897, p. 978. 
h Eng. Min. Jour., May 25, 1905, p. 922. 


not only the notable bonanzas that have from time to time been 
found, but also those minor aggregations that furnish so much 
of the Avorld's present supply of gold. The possible sources from 
which the gold of any deposit may have been derived are : (a) 
Emanations from igneous magmas ; (b) disseminations throughout 
igneous rocks ; (c) pre-existing auriferous veins ; and (d) deposits 
mechanically or chemically formed in sedimentary rocks. Some, 
or all of these may have been affected by the leaching action of 
the waters that are gathered within a single fissure. Since the 
motion of loaded waters in fissures is mainly upward, and since 
deposition of their metallic content may take place with the dimi- 
nution of heat and pressure that obtains as they near the surface, 
the general effect of motion in upward-moving deep-seated waters, 
is towards deposition of their metallic content on the sides of the 
fissure. For gold, precipitation takes place either in the mass of 
baser sulphides or as tellurides. With long-continued passage of 
solutions the auriferous sulphides may readily be conceived to grow 
in bulk, but, to the growth of gold-tellurides in like fashion, the 
evidence available offers certain objections, which may, neverthe- 
less, be inapplicable to the natural conditions of telluride depo- 
sition, of which we are profoundly ignorant. Lenher and Hall a have 
shown that the natural tellurides of gold are capable of readily 
reducing gold from its solutions. Hence, while the association of 
free gold and gold-telluride is readily accounted for, there is reason 
to believe that accretion of gold-telluride to gold-telluride does 
not take place. .Telluride aggregations are perhaps to be ascribed 
rather to the long-continued mingling at the given spot, or in the 
given fissure, of solutions containing, respectively, gold and a 
telluride compound. In such fashion there may be formed notable 
concentrations, both of auriferous sulphides and of gold-tellurides. 
The two are often associated. At Kalgoorlie, after a steady decrease 
in value from the secondarily enriched telluride zone at the base 
of the vadose region, a notable and probably primary enrichment 
has been noted in certain mines at the 2,000-foot level. 

The agents of concentration acting on the surface of the earth 
are fluviatile, peolian, and marine. Of these, the first is important, 
the two last insignificant. Their relative values have already been 
indicated, and need not be here further discussed. 

Local factors often tend to produce bonanzas. These will be 
treated separately as inducing secondary enrichment and as forming 

Secondary Enrichment. The aggregation of gold with 
regard to its matrix may be increased either by the removal of a 

Jour. Am. Chem. Soc, XXIV, 1902, p. 355; Ibid., p. 918. 


portion of the matrix or by an actual addition of gold. The first 
is a relative, the second an actual enrichment. The first is operative 
in the vadose zone or the zone of weathering, where complex minerals 
are decomposed and the resultant salts removed either in solution 
or in mechanical suspension in running water. Notable enrichments 
may thus occur at the outcrops of veins, especially where their 
contained gold is coarse. When the primary gold is fine, as in the 
case of the great Martha lode of the Waihi mine, the outcrop 
gold is not less readily removed by chemical than by mechanical 

The great proportion of the work of secondary enrichment is 
performed by solutions percolating in the vadose zone. These 
may be divided, according to the nature of their work and 
its result, into two divisions : (a) Ascending solutions depositing 
free gold as near the outcrop of the vein as possible ; (b) descending 
solutions, which by interaction with the solid and liquid contents 
of the fissures of the deeper zone deposit auriferous sulphides and 
gold-tellurides at or near the base of the vadose zone. For both 
divisions the initial process of solution of gold is the same. We have 
already considered the various possible natural gold-solvents, 
and also the precipitants of the vadose zone, and they need not here 
be recapitulated. It remains but to trace the course of the gold 
solutions. Free gold may conceivably be dissolved within the 
vadose zone, but the general source is the upper sulphide and 
telluride horizon, which erosion and the consequent lowering of the 
ground-water level brings within the reach of oxidising waters. 
When the course of the loaded waters is upward the gold may be 
precipitated in the free state by one of its numerous precipitants, or, 
as is probably generally the case, the contained gold is withdrawn 
from solution by mass-action exercised by grains or crystals of free 
gold. Thus are grown those gold crystals, which, as we have seen, 
are characteristic of the vadose zone as well as of alluvial gravels, 
and thus are formed the notable masses of gold that have been found 
in the gossan of the deposit, as at Mount Morgan, or at the inter- 
sections of fissures, as in the " propylite " of the Thames and other 
andesitic goldfields. This action, though perhaps most notable 
at the immediate outcrop of veins, since there it represents the sum 
of the products of many such operations, yet takes place throughout 
the whole of the zone of weathering, which may, indeed, range to 
many hundreds of feet in depth. At moderate depths it is generally 
accompanied by the formation of siliceous veins or replacements ; 
these last are lacking at the immediate outcrop. 

In the second division of secondary enrichments, where the 
ultimate course of the gold-bearing waters is downward to the 



top of the sulphide and telluride zone, the possible reactions are 
much more complex. In the zone of weathering the sulphides are 
oxidised ultimately to oxides and sulphates generally in the following 
order. in time: arsenopyrite, pyrite, chalcopyrite, blende, galena, 
and chalcocite, the first-mentioned being the most readily attacked. 
Chlorides and carbonates are also formed in the zone of weathering. 
When these reach the sulphide zone on the downward journey 
and come into contact with the reducing waters of that zone, their 
metallic content is deposited in a variety of ways. Organic matter 
below the ground- water level has, as we have seen in the case of the 
carbonaceous bands of Bendigo and Gympie, exercised a notable 
effect in this directions Sulphates and sulphites are probably also 
reduced to sulphides by -ous salts, such as ferrous silicates. b Perhaps 
the most important agent in the formation of metallic sulphides in 
this zone is sulphuretted hydrogen, which is of wide distribution 
in underground waters. Alkaline sulphides may also be operative. 

However formed, the resultant mineral sulphide contains 
all or some of the gold contained with it in the solution. At the 
top of the sulphide zone there is thus a notable secondary enrich- 
ment, both of sulphide and of gold. Thus we have in a typical gold 
vein : (a) a surface oxidised zone characterised by free gold, (b) 
a narrow zone of enriched auriferous sulphides, and (c) a belt of 
great depth of original lean auriferous sulphides. The contact 
between the first two zones is often well defined ; that between 
the two last is rarely so. 

It is believed that a telluride zone of secondary enrichment 
may be formed in a manner somewhat analogous to that of the 
enriched sulphide zone. For the existence of such a zone there is 
abundant evidence both at Kalgoorlie, Western Australia, and at 
Cripple Creek, Colorado, the two most important telluride areas at 
present worked. 

The apparent comparative insusceptibility, in the oxidised 
zone, of gold to solvents, the accumulation of gold in that zone 
as the vein is slowly worn away by erosion, the removal of much 
of the vein-matter by decomposition and weathering leaving 
cavities and vughs, and the constant reinforcement of its gold 
contents from the enriched sulphide zone, all tend to render the tenor 
of a given vein in the oxidised zone greatly higher than in the 
primary lean sulphide zone far below. Notable exceptions to this 
rule, arising from special conditions, are known (Waihi, &c), and 
have been indicated elsewhere in this volume. Owing probably 
to slowness of oxidation in boreal regions, as Alaska, British 

a See also Jenney, Trans. Amer. Inst. M.E., XXXIII, 1903, p. 445. 
b Van Hisc, Mon. U.S. Geol. Surv., XLVII, 1902, p. 1112. 

SHOOTS. 115 

Columbia, Siberia, &c, secondary enrichments are there very 
rare, even the pyrite in surface gravels showing no tendency to 
oxidation and consequent liberation of its contained gold. 

Shoots. Local enrichments or aggregations of gold are called 
"shoots," "chimneys," "bonanzas," "pockets," or "pay- 
streaks," according to their general shape. Ore-deposits vary at 
times in tenor and in shape with remarkable suddenness. The study 
of the conditions governing their formation is one of extreme 
difficulty, since, in the course of time, many changes, physical 
and chemical, may have taken place in the adjacent country, all 
tending to obliterate the essential features in existence at the period 
of formation of the ore-shoot. It is characteristic of shoots 
within a vein that they possess not only the dip of the vein, but a 
pitch to one side or the other within the vein itself. In given veins 
a general parallelism of successive shoots may often be observed. 
Shoots may be rudely divided into three classes, according to their 
probable method of origin or to the causes that have affected 
their deposition : 

( 1 ) Shoots due to structural features in fissure or in country. 

(2) Shoots due to the influence of wall rocks. 

(3) Shoots due to the influence of descending waters. 

No sharp division may be made between these, since more 
than one, or all three, may have been combined to form a given 
shoot. Other causes beside those given may operate, and the history 
of any shoot may be traced only on the field on which it occurs, 
and then only when in possession of abundant geological data 
derived from that field. 

Where ore-bodies are formed by simple filling of fissures, their 
shape is naturally dependent on the conditions that have directed 
or modified the formation of the fissures. Since fissures are generally 
also fault-lines, the irregularities of the* walls are so opposed by 
dislocation that the subsequent ore-body presents a succession of 
swellings and pinchings. This takes place not only vertically, 
but also, to a more limited extent, laterally. Faulting along a 
fissure may therefore mean the local discontinuity of the 
ore-body subsequently formed. The openings of a fissure due to 
fracture and dislocation are greatly enlarged and modified by the 
solvent action of passing waters. Solution may be simple or may 
be accompanied by metasomatic replacement. An ore-body, there- 
fore, tends to widen on passing from a less to a more soluble rock. 
The mass of metal is often greater in wider parts of the ore-body 
owing to the greater amount of solution contained within the wider 
cavity, but no general statement may be made under this head. 
Often the narrower portions of an ore-body are much the richer, 


and in these cases it may be observed that the total quantity of 
gold contained within the ore-body at selected horizons is fairly 
constant, but that in the wider portions it is merely distributed 
through a greater mass of gangue. 

Successive movements along the same fault-line may re-open 
a mineral-filled fissure and permit of the further deposition of ore. 
This process may be repeated until a notable aggregation results. 
The walls of a main fault-fissure may be so deeply affected by 
movement that adjacent bands of numerous minor parallel and 
interlacing fissures may form in the country, thus affording a* 
ready passage for mineral-bearing waters and abundant oppor- 
tunity for replacement of the brecciated country by ore. Interlacing 
stringers (stockworks), especially in propylite regions as those of 
Transylvania, Colorado, and New Zealand, are favourable to ore- 
deposition, probably because opportunity is afforded for the inter- 
mingling of solutions containing the metallic salt and the pre- 
cipitant respectively. 

The line of intersection of fractures or fissures is always a 
possible locus of an ore-body. Since these may meet in any line at any 
angle from the horizontal or from the vertical, any given disposition 
of ore-body may result. Local variations, either towards poverty 
or richness, may arise in shoots of this character, from the fact that 
the precipitating or the metalliferous solution may have egress 
and may be intermingled with the waters of the other channel only 
at given points along the line of intersection. A remarkable instance 
of the secondary development of an ore-shoot along the line of 
intersection of two fissures is afforded by the " chimney " of the 
Bassick mine, Colorado, where igneous matter has taken advantage 
of the line of weakness so formed to the surface, and has welled up 
along it, shattering the walls and forming a pipe elliptical in 
plan of brecciated material. The ore-body consisted of the central 
portion of the breccia, this portion apparently remaining the channel 
for ascending solutions. 

A remarkable form of ore-body is furnished by the " saddle- 
reefs " of Victoria and Nova Scotia, where ore-bodies are developed 
at given horizons within the rocks at the crests of anticlinal folds, 
or more rarely at the bottoms of synclines. Minor flexures carrying 
ore-bodies may also be developed on the sides of the main folds, 
and these, as in Nova Scotia, may carry shoots. The shoots of the 
Champion Reef, India, perhaps the most notable worked in the 
history of gold-mining, are apparently due to combined vertical 
and longitudinal compressions, the resultant of which is midway 
between horizontal and vertical and is in the strike of the vein. 
Along the resultant line, therefore, there have been opened channels. 

SHOOTS. 117 

for the passage of the auriferous waters, and along the same line 
the already-formed quartz-vein has been folded over to form the 
rolls characteristic of the Champion Reef. As might be 
expected, the Kolar shoots, like those of many other veins in 
other parts of the world, are parallel in " pitch," which is here 
understood as the dip of the shoot within the plane of the vein. 
In fairly steep veins it is probable that the direction and the velocity 
of flow of metalliferous waters are important factors in governing 
the ' L pitch " of an ore-shoot formed by the intermingling of waters 
from intersecting fissures. In this case the position finally occupied 
by the gold grain lies along the line resultant from the com- 
bination of the motions imparted to the grain by the moving 
waters and by gravity respectively. Even in a slowly-moving 
current a fine particle of gold may be carried a considerable distance 
before coming to rest. In other cases, as on the Maldon goldfield, 
Victoria, the pitch of auriferous shoots is dependent on the dip of a 
given stratum and the underlie of the vein, since it is only along 
the intersection of bed and vein that shoots are developed." 

We have seen that ore-shoots may be due to the influence of wall- 
rocks, and those due to the action of carbonaceous rocks have also 
been indicated with sufficient detail. In readily soluble rocks, as lime- 
stones, traversed by fissures through which auriferous silica-bearing 
solutions are passing, widespread metasomatic replacement adjacent 
to the fissures may result. When metasomatism is accompanied by 
auriferous deposition, as has been the case, e.g., at Pilgrims's Rest, 
Transvaal, and Tintic, Utah, the ore-body may assume considerable 
economic importance. Again, in the northern goldfields of Western 
Australia, the peculiar banded hsematite-magnetite-quartz rocks 
of the Archaean schists are auriferous only where they are intersected 
by transverse fissures. Finally, a wall-rock may, on leaching, furnish 
the metalliferous contents of the veins by which it is traversed. 
The propylitic rocks of the Tertiary andesites may thus have 
furnished some portion of the gold of their stringers ; this assumption 
is based on analyses of the country of the Comstock Lode, and of 
similar rocks, but it is doubtful whether much of the evidence 
offered a quarter of a century ago is now admissible. 

A further cause of ore-shoots is the precipitation from down- 
ward-moving solutions that takes place at the top of the sulphide 
zone. Their formation has been fully indicated under secondary 
enrichment. As already seen, shoots of this type are more or less 
horizontal in disposition, and extend only to comparatively shallow 
depths below the zone of oxidation. 

a Moon, Rep. Mines Dept. Victoria, 1895. 



The Geographical Distribution of Gold. 


The auriferous deposits of Europe comprise three great groups 
and a number of minor occurrences, the latter not being 
obviously related to each other or to the main groups. 
Two of the groups, viz., those of the Ural mountain chain and of the 
Hungarian Miocene andesitic lavas and tuffs possess considerable 
economic value ; the third, or Alpine group, which ranges from 
Carinthia through the Austrian Tyrol and the Italian Alps to the 
Pyrenees and the Cantabrian Alps, is of minor importance. 

The gold- veins of the Urals are apparently dependent for their 
origin on late Palseozoic igneous activity, though it is not clear 
whether they are to be ascribed to acid or to basic magmas ; most 
probably to the latter, though, as at Berezovsk and at Kotchkar, 
they occur in microgranitic and granitic country. It is possible, 
however, that, as in California and in Eastern Australia, they 
are all to be referred to a single protracted period, during 
which magmatic differentiation produced both acid and basic 
rocks. On the other hand, the relations of the Hungarian occur- 
rences (of which the principal fields are Schemnitz, Kremnitz, 
Nagybanya, and those of the Transylvanian Alps) are very 
clear, and auriferous impregnation is there certainly dependent on 
the extrusion in Miocene time of dacites and normal andesites. 
The third or Alpine group contains numerous sporadic occur- 
rences along the belt above indicated. These are all in the Permo- 
Carboniferous schistose rocks of the Alpine uplift, and in some 
cases, at least, would appear to have arisen from dioritic or diabasic 
intrusions. It is noteworthy, however, that tonalite rocks have 
been extruded on the eastern and southern side of the schistose 
rocks. a The Italian gold-quartz veins have proved the most 
important of the group. 

Of isolated occurrences, the gold of the North Wales area in 
Middle Cambrian strata is perhaps connected with diorites and dia- 

a De Launay, Cornptes Rend. Congres Geol. Internat., 1906, p 586. 



basic rocks, as also is that of Norway in metamorphic rocks. The 
Carboniferous conglomerates of Western Europe appear in places 
to be slightly auriferous, but no guess may be hazarded as to 
whether their contained gold is due to impregnation or is in point 
of deposition contemporaneous with that of the conglomerate. 


Cornwall. Of the production of gold in Cornwall and Devon 
in early times there are no records, but that from time to time the 





prtli I R ELAN D 

NORTH s e n 

Fig. 72. Auriferous Localities in Great Britain and Ireland. ' 

gold mines of these counties were considered sufficiently remunera- 
tive to be worked is evidenced by the numerous writs and grants of 
Henry III, and of his successors down to Elizabeth. With all 
these, however, not a single ounce of gold is recorded as having been 
obtained. In 1564 a patent or monopoly was granted to William 
Humphreys, Cornelius Devos, Daniel Hochstetter, and Thomas 
Thurland, to seek for gold, silver, and quicksilver in certain counties 
in England, Wales, and Ireland within the Pale. This patent was 


confirmed and amplified by James I, and became the charter of the 
Mines Royal Company, which existed and claimed the right to all 
royal metals until after the middle of the nineteenth century. It 
does not appear, however, that their operations at any time met 
with any degree of success. In the early part of the last century, 
gold was obtained in small quantities at Ladock by Sir Christopher 
Hawkins. A specimen presented by him to the Royal Geological 
Society of Cornwall was enclosed in a quartz-matrix. 

In 1753, certain tin-streamers in the parish of Creed, near 
Grampound, met with some grains of gold, and " in one stone a 
vein of gold as thick as a goose quill was found." Shortly after, 
gold was discovered in blue sandy slate at Luny in the parish of 
St. Ewe. A little gold-ore is reported to have been obtained in 
18-16, at Wheal Samson, in St. Teath. In 1852 gold was discovered 
in quartz-veins at Davidstowe, North Cornwall. 

Borlase mentions that he had seen a nugget from the parish 
of Creed, near Grampound, weighing 15 dwts. 3 grains. Gold was 
also found in the Crow Hill stream works at Trewarda, at Kenwyn, 
and at Llanlivery, near Lostwithiel. In the British Natural 
History Museum there is exhibited a small water-worn nugget 
from Wendron, near Helston. Gold is also reported from Cornwall 
in the matrix from a cross-course in Huel Sparnon, and in the gossan 
of the Nargiles mine. Forbes records the presence of gold in the 
argentiferous tetrahedrite, chalcopyrite, and galena of a lode at 
Bound's Cliff, near St. Teath. 

Native gold has been found in most of the Cornish tin-streams 
flowing to the south. Of these the Carnon stream, at the head of 
Restronget creek in the Falmouth estuary, has perhaps yielded the 
most specimens. Small nuggets are not uncommon there, and one 
found at Carnon is reported to have weighed more than 10 guineas, 
and was probably about 2 ounces in weight. The gold is generally 
found associated with stream-tin. Analysis of several grains from 
St. Austell Moor, the largest of which was only 2 1 grains in weight, 
gave Forbes the following result : Gold, 90*12 ; silver, 9*05 ; and 
silica and iron, 83 per cent. The specific gravity of the gold 
was 15*62. Gold from Ladock, analysed by Church, proved to be 
slightly finer in quality than the above : Gold, 92 34 ; silver, 
6*06 ; and silica, 1*60 per cent. 

Devon. In this county the existence of gold has been known 
or assumed for many centuries. In the beginning of the nineteenth 
century, a miner named Wellington is reported to have found gold 
at Sheepstor on South Dartmoor. At different times he brought 
to a silversmith at Plymouth quantities which in the aggregate 
were valued at about 40. The principal auriferous locality in 

122 EUROPE. 

Devon is at North Molton. Here, in 1852, the gossan ores of the 
Britannia and Poltimore mines were discovered to be payably 
auriferous. This discovery, coming immediately after the world- 
wide excitement and unrest caused by the discovery of the Cali- 
fornian diggings, attracted an extraordinary amount of interest. 
The first trial of the gossan yielded 26| ozs. from 20 tons of ore, 
and the average yield of further trials of 50 and 75 tons was 6 dwts. 
per ton. The gold was of very good quality, and was said to be 
worth nearly 4. 4s. per ounce. The total value of the gold 
produced from the Poltimore mines up to November 2nd, 1853, was 
581. 5s. Id. 

The North Molton auriferous copper lodes are situated in an 
area of Devonian rocks, some distance away from an exposed 
contact with the overlying Carboniferous sandstones. Both the 
Devonian and Carboniferous strata are very highly inclined, being 
at times even vertical, and the lodes appear to dip with the country. 
The chief auriferous gossan-lode is from 4 to 10 feet wide, and 
dips to the north. There is considerable evidence of this mine having 
been worked, probably for copper, in very remote times. The 
auriferous gossan is a friable ironstone, highly mineralised, and con- 
taining copper. It is brown on the western side of the Mole and 
reddish on the eastern bank. The latter portion of the vein is 
reputed to be twice as valuable as the former, assays giving 17 dwts. 
and 8 dwts. gold respectively. The Britannia mine is three-quarters 
of a mile north of the Poltimore. Gold was found there, in 
grains and small plates, prior to 1822. It likewise carries a gossan 
ore, which is more siliceous than that of the Poltimore. These 
gossans arise from the decomposition of slightly auriferous metallic 
sulphides, mainly iron-pyrites. In a specimen from North 
Molton, in the British Museum, small particles of gold are clearly 
visible in the brown and somewhat siliceous ironstone. 

Cumberland. Gold is said to have been formerly recovered 
from the rich copper-ore of Goldscope, Keswick, Cumberland, but 
no specimens have been obtained in modern times. 

Somerset. Gold has been recorded from the Carboniferous 
Limestone near Bristol. Appreciable quantities of both gold and 
silver have been found in the limestone at Whalton, near Clevedon. 
One sample on assay contained 94 grains of silver and another 
nearly 1 ounce of silver ; while both returned 3 to 5 grains of gold 
per ton. In the absence of proof of the absolute purity of the 
fluxes used (and especially of the litharge), these results must be 
received with some degree of caution. 

Gloucester. During 1907 the discovery of auriferous con- 
glomerates was reported from Gloucester (Forest of Dean), 1 J miles 

WALES. 123 

south-west by south of Mitcheldean, where siliceous pebbly con- 
glomerates were found to carry about 6 grains gold per ton. Their 
present importance is, however, negligible." 


Of the early Roman gold-workings in Wales there are no 
authentic remains, but it has generally been supposed that the old 
workings of Ogofau, near the village of Pumpsant, some 12 miles 
west of Llandovery, are evidences of Roman occupation and of their 
search for gold. The name Ogofau or Gogofau is probably Ogofawr, 
designating a large cave or large disused workings, Ogo being a 
generic term for such old excavations. At this spot, numerous 
remains of Roman pottery, ornaments, and baths have been 
found. Some of the ornaments are of gold, and show consider- 
able artistic skill. Grooved stones, on which the crushing 
of the quartz was performed, also occur in the neighbourhood. 
The workings are extensive, and have evidently been opened 
first along the cap of the lodes. When these open cuts became 
too deep for easy working, levels 170 feet long, 6 feet high, and 
5 to 6 feet wide, were driven through the country to cut the lode. 
The upper level communicated with the opencast workings by 
a rise, and the lower and upper levels were similarly connected. 
The workings are in Lower Silurian rocks, which here dip slightly 
to the northward. The lodes are of quartz, and vary both in dip 
and strike. The quartz is massive and somewhat opaque, showing 
in places a tendency to form interpenetrating growths of crystals. 
The accompanying minerals are iron-pyrites, in cubes and pyrito- 
hedra, and a little galena. A white sericitic mica and inclusions 
of slate are not uncommon. The slates when fine-grained are 
very dark and very fissile, and through them run occasional 
thin veins of greenish blue serpentinous mineral. Gold was 
first noted at Ogofau in modern times by Sir W. Warington 
Smyth and Dr. Percy, though Sir Roderick Murchison had some 
years previously submitted the quartz to assay without result. 
The Ogofau veins were worked for a short time (during 1889 
to 1891) by the South Wales Gold Mining Company, but the results 
Mere extremely discouraging, the total return of gold being only 
4 ozs. 19 dwts. The mine was soon abandoned, but work was 
resumed about 1903, and the veins have since been further opened up 
by private enterprise. A small 5-stamp battery was erected to deal 
with the ore, and in 1905-1906, some 800 tons of quartz and 
ancient tailings were crushed for a yield of 92 ounces of gold. In 
1907 the mine passed into the possession of a small company. 

a Cullis and Richardson, Proc. Cottesw. Nat, F. C, XVI, 1907, p. 81. 

124 EUROPE. 

North Wales. The auriferous veins of Merionethshire, in 
North Wales, appear to have been discovered in 1843, the occur- 
rence of gold in that county being reported to the 1844 meeting 
of the British Association for the Advancement of Science. 
In 1846 an attempt was made to raise capital to work the gold- 
mines, but, owing to the ridicule cast on the project, the attempt 
resulted in failure. Early in 1847 the Vigra, Clogau, Tyddyn- 
gwladys, and Dol-y-frwynog lodes were opened up. The last 
mentioned yielded a little gold during 1847, but, being in places 
12 feet wide with good copper-ore, it was worked almost entirely 
for the latter metal. 

Before January, 1849, the first extensive trials of Welsh 
auriferous veins had been made at Cwm Eisen, and 7 lbs. of gold of 
the approximate value of 350 had been obtained from lOf tons of 
concentrates, the produce of 300 tons of ore. Gold-mining operations 
were at this time much hindered by the claims of the Mines Royal 
Corporation, to which, as we have already seen, the Crown had 
granted, by patents of Elizabeth, its royal prerogative in Wales. 
The matter was finally settled by the Crown requiring a royalty of 
5 per cent, on private property and of 10 per cent, on Crown land. 
In 1853, a great impetus was given to gold-mining in Wales by the 
introduction of the Berdan machine for gold-recovery. It came 
at the height of the excitement caused by the gold discoveries 
in California, and created a mild boom, of which the usual 
advantage was taken by unscrupulous persons. At that time, gold 
was reported from all parts of England and Wales, nearly all the 
alleged discoveries being, of course, fictitious. The gold mines 
worked during this boom were all about the upper waters of the 
Afon Mawddach, in the vicinity of the Rhaiddr Mawddach. 

On August 16th, 1853, gold was discovered at the Prince of 
Wales mine (later the Voel mine), about half a mile west of the 
junction of the Mawddach with the Afon Wen, and in the same week 
a similar discovery in an old dump was made at Vigra (Clogau ?) by 
Messrs. Goodman and Parry, of Dolgelly. In 1854, a single piece 
of stone worth 25 was crushed from Clogau, and two years later 
100 lbs. of quartz from the same mine yielded 14 ounces of gold. 
It was not, however, until 1860, that the St. David's lode of the 
Clogau mine gave any indication of the presence of rich bonanzas. 
On May 21st, 1860, a mass of 15 cwt. of gold-quartz of the estimated 
value of 500 to 600 was broken down. During the first half-year 
of 1861, 983 ounces of the value of 3,664 were obtained. This 
rich discovery naturally stimulated enterprise in the vicinity ; and 
in 1863 the Clogau, Cefn Coch, Dol-y-frwynog, and Cwm Eisen 
mines were being vigorously worked, and visible gold was obtained 



at Garth-gell, Cambrian, Cae-Mawr, Prince of Wales, Moel Offryn, 
Glasdir, Tyddyn-gwladys, and Ganllwyd mines. In April, 1862, r gold 
was met with in situ in the Berthllwyd mine, near Tyn-y-groes,' and 
a crushing of 332^ tons from the adjacent Welsh Gold Mining 
Company's mines gave a yield of 282J ounces of gold. The gold 

Geological Sketch-map 

OF THE ''''(] 

Auriferous District of North Wales . ' : ' ' ' ' 

Alluvium .... fc^ ^d) '. 

U Oamsbiah-Bala Aoe.-Diaba6Es. Dolbrites. etc. 
n , AntNia Aqe.-Acio Intrusives, to. 


" ii i. ti FpesTiNioa Beds 


(.owes Caubdian-Mimiviah Series . 

> Harlech Series J ' ' ' ' ' 



Fig. 73. Geology or the Auriferous Akea of the Mawddach Valley, North Wales. 

of the Gwyn-fynydd lode, which yielded so handsomely a quarter 
of a century later, was discovered early in 1864 by Capt. Griffith 
Williams, but the discovery was kept secret until February 23rd. 
1864. In 1865, the Clogau mine paid 22,575 in dividends and had 
in little more than three years produced gold to the value of 43.783. 



After 1866, gold-mining languished for nearly 20 years, and 
there is little of importance to note in that period. The Vigra and 
Clogau mines had worked out their bonanzas, and in 1868 produced 
only 490 ounces of gold. In 1870, the total yield from Wales was 
only 191 ounces, of which Gwyn-fynydd contributed 165 ounces. 
During the following year not a single ounce of gold was produced. 

The following table shows the yield of gold from Wales 
from 1861-1906 inclusive : 



Gold Ore. 

Tons. Cwts. 



























t222,389 10 

Crude Ounces. 









































Dwts. Grs. 


1 12 

12 19 


16 10 

6 21 

14 23 


1 21 







12 16 


Value of Gold. 

116,197 19 8 









































15 5 

10 0* 

7 10* 

3 5* 

12 9* 

7 0* 
6 11* 

17 6 

10 9 


8 6 


2 0* 

9 6* 

417,183 13 11 

* Estimated, at 3. 17s. per ounce of crude gold, 
t From 1888 to 1906 inclusive. 



In 1881, a low-level 'tunnel was driven to intersect the St. 
David's lode (Clogau mine) ; shortly afterwards a small 
pocket of 225 ounces was obtained. Nothing of importance 
was recorded from the district until 1888, when a rich shoot was 
discovered in the Gwyn-fynydd lode. The Morgan Company was 
floated to work this mine, which, in two years, produced over 35,000 
worth of gold. After the exhaustion of the shoot, the company 
suspended operations ; but a new company was formed, and carried 
on operations for many years, with varying success. The two 
most important mines, the Clogau and the Gwyn-fynydd, were then 
united as the St. David's Gold and Copper Mines, Ltd. 

The recent yields of the two principal lodes near Dolgelly are 
shown in the subjoined table : 

Gwyn Mines. 

St. David's 

, Dolgelly. 



































In addition to the foregoing, Cefn Coch mines for the years 
1901-1903 produced 90| ounces gold from 58| tons ; and Ffridd 
Coch, 43 ounces from 76 J tons during 1 90 1-1 902. a Small yields 
have also been obtained from Borth Valley mines (27 ounces), 
and from the Arenig mines, Bala (2 ounces). 

It will be seen that at times the returns have been so large as 
to admit of a handsome profit. The net profit of the St. David's 
Gold and Copper Mines, Ltd., for the year 1900, was 39,729, which 
admitted of the payments of dividends at the rate of 60 per cent, on 
the capital. While the gross receipts for that year were 51,344. 
4s. 10d., the total expenses were only 8,423. 9s. 7d., or 8s. 7|d., 
per ton. The royalties paid to the Crown were 2,038. 7s. 7d., or at 
the rate of 2s. Id. per ton of ore crushed. The extremely low mining 
and milling costs have therefore permitted of the payment of sub- 
stantial dividends. 

The rocks of the auriferous area of North Wales may be grouped 

as follows : 

Bala Series Castell-carn-Dochan Slates. 

Bala Age Felstone-porphyriesand felspathic ashes. 

Arenig Age Igneous intrusive rocks. 

C Dolgelly Beds. 
Lingula-flag Series J Ffestiniog Beds. 

( Maentwrog Beds. 

Upper Cambrian 
or Ordovician 

Middle Cambrian 

Lower Cambrian 

Menevian Series. 
Harlech Series 

.Harlech Grits. 

a Home Office Rep. Mines and Quarries, 1902. Part III. 

128 EUROPE. 

Neither in the Harlech grits nor in the Menevian beds are metal- 
liferous veins developed, and the general horizon of the auriferous 
veins of North Wales is that of the Lingula-flags. These are divided 
into three groups. The lowest, the Maentwrog, rests in this area 
directly and without unconformity on the Menevian beds, and 
like them, dips south-east and east at angles varying from 45 
near Barmouth to 10 near Gwyn-fynydd. They are f ossi- 
ferous at Tyddyn-gwladys and Cwm Eisen. The most productive 
auriferous lodes in these beds include the Gwyn-fynydd, Cwm 
Eisen, Cefn-dewddwr, Ganllwyd, Berthllwyd, Cefn Coch, Voel, and 
Clogau. The contact of the Maentwrog and the underlying 
Menevian beds is, especially in the Llechau and Mynach valleys, 
clearly traceable on the surface, the Menevian beds showing a barren 
surface, while the slates of the Maentwrog beds yield a fair soil that 
supports an abundant vegetation. The rocks of the Maentwrog 
beds are, on the whole, grey and dark-coloured slates, sometimes 
highly ferruginous, associated with occasional bands of sandstone. 

The Ffestiniog beds, which conformably overlie the Maentwrog 
beds, are developed from Moel-Hafod-Owen through Glasdir to 
Penmaenpool. The auriferous veins on this horizon are those at 
Dol-y-frwynog and at Glasdir. The Ffestiniog beds in this neigh- 
bourhood have been very considerably altered by dynamic stress, 
occasioned possibly by the extrusion of the great neighbouring 
igneous mass of Rhobell Fawr. The ordinary slaty rocks of the 
Lingula-flags give place to a hard, massive rock, indistinguishable 
in many cases froni the intrusive felspathic igneous rocks of the 
area. In places, it contains a large quantity of talc, becoming a 
talcose schist, weathering along fissure-planes to a somewhat kaolinic 

Igneous rocks are well developed in the auriferous area, the 
intrusions, especially north of the Mawddach river, between the 
Barmouth estuary and Llanelltyd, running parallel with the strike 
of the lower beds of the Lingula-flag series. They occasionally 
occupy fault-lines, furnishing a remarkable instance midway between 
Tyn-y-groes and the Clogau mine, where the large Cefn Coch 
quartz-lode occupies for some distance the plane of contact between 
the Menevian and Maentwrog beds ; further south-west, the 
fissure, which runs into the head of the Mynach valley, has been 
filled by intrusive diabase, which at times again gives place to 
quartz. No less than 150 diabasic intrusions, varying from a few 
feet to nearly a mile in length, have been mapped in this area by the 
officers of the Geological Survey. Many of the dyke-rocks are light 
in colour, and exhibit the imperfect crystallization due to rapid 
cooling. Some are calcareous, showing effervescence on treatment 

WALES. 129 

with acid. They are, as far as may be gathered from hand specimens, 
dolerites and diabases. 

These North Wales gold mines are, with the exception of Castell- 
carn-Dochan, disposed along the northern and western slopes of 
the watershed of the Afon Mawddach, a stream flowing into St. 
George's Channel. The auriferous belt extends from near Pontddu, 
midway between Barmouth and Dolgelly, in an easterly 
direction to a mile beyond the falls at Rhaiddr Mawddach. 
The two most productive lodes are located one at each end of 
the already proved auriferous belt the Clogau on the south-west 
and the Gwyn-fynydd on the north-east. The Clogau mine is 
situated some distance from Pontddu up the Cwm-llechau valley. 
Midway between Pontddu and the mine is the crushing-mill, the ore 
being conveyed by an aerial tramway from the mouth of the main 
level. The mountainous nature of the country permits of the lode 
being worked level-free, and at the same time furnishes abundant fall 
for the use of the water of the Llechau as a source of motive-power. 
The St. David's lode lies, as already stated, in the Middle Cambrian 
slaty rocks (Lingula-flags), a short distance south of their line of 
surface-contact with the coarse greenish-grey underlying Lower 
Cambrian or Menevian grits and sandstones. The vein, which has 
a nearly east and west strike, parallel with the line of contact men- 
tioned, is almost perpendicular, any dip being towards the north. 
It varies in width from 2 to 9 feet, but it is much split in places, 
forming occasionally large horses. The matrix of the vein is 
quartz, somewhat white and chalcedonic in appearance, especially 
near and at the surface. Calcite is not uncommon, and occasionally 
contains gold. Of the sulphide ores found at depth, blende is by 
far the most abundant, but iron pyrites, pyrrhotite, chalcopyrite, 
and arsenopyrite also occur in quantity. Tetradymite, the silvery 
white telluride of bismuth, and a somewhat uncommon associate 
of gold, is met with at Clogau. The gold itself is occasionally 
in the clean white quartz, where it is shotty, but is more often asso- 
ciated with blende or with a darker veinstone, the darker hue being 
probably due to the contemporaneous deposition of sulphides in a 
state of extremely fine division. The values are disposed generally 
in shoots and pockets. 

The Gwyn - fynydd mine lies a short distance above 
Rhaiddr Mawddach ; like the Clogau it has the advantage of 
an ample supply of water under a good head, and also is worked 
level-free. This mine was originally opened as a lead mine, but in 
1870 a small rich pocket of gold-ore was discovered a few feet below 
the surface, portions yielding at the rate of 7 to 16 ounces to the 
ton. The auriferous character of the lode was first discovered in 

130 EUROPE. 

1864. The Gwyn-fynydd lode, like the St. David's, from which it is 
distant about 8 miles, is close to the contact between the Maentwrog 
slates and the Menevian sandstones. The former, in this area, dip 
to the east at angles varying from 10 to 60. The latter 
also dip in the same direction, but at much lower angles. 
The lode strikes east and west, dipping to the north 
at about 80. It branches in several places, forming numerous 
small horses of slate. As a natural consequence, its width 
varies considerably, 2 feet and 20 feet being perhaps the 
extreme limits. The matrix of the gold is a white and opaque 
quartz. In places it is much mineralised, the most abundant 
sulphide being blende ; but pyrite, mispickel, galena, and chalco- 
pyrite are also present. The gold here is, as a rule, much finer in 
grain than that from Clogau ; indeed, in some cases, it is 
so finely divided that it imparts a yellow stain to the stone, 
with which it is obviously of contemporaneous origin. In other 
cases, the gold is of subsequent deposition, occurring in vughs in 
blende, and infiltrating the somewhat cavernous quartz. In the 
latter case, the gold is often leaflike and wiry. Since the discovery, 
in 1888, of the rich shoot, which has been traced for more than 
300 feet, this lode has yielded consistently, and for many years it 
furnished the greater proportion of the Welsh gold-yield. 

In the vicinity of Gwyn-fynydd, mines that have yielded good 
specimens, but have never been sufficiently rich in gold to pay for 
working expenses, are the Cwm Eisen (Cwm-heisian), Dol-y- 
frwynog, Cefn-dewddwr, and Tyddyn-gwladys. Of these, as we 
have already seen, Cwm Eisen and Dol-y-frwynog, were among 
the earliest worked, and though never yielding a profit, 
the gold produced from them has been considerable. Cwm 
Eisen, in the early days of gold mining, yielded two large 
returns, of 170 ounces from 300 tons and 148 ounces from 157i tons 
respectively. The quartz is on the whole rather clear, and the in- 
variable associate of the gold is zinc-blende, the latter being some- 
times contemporaneous and sometimes prior in point of deposition. 
Galena and pyrites also occur in quantity. 

The Dol-y-frwynog mine, about a mile east of Cwm Eisen, has 
produced some very rich ore. The gold here is fine, at times 
staining the quartz. It is also found associated with blende and 
with pyrites. The main lode averages about 5 feet in width, strikes 
west-north-west and east-south-east, and dips towards the north 
at about 40. At a depth of 200 feet, very rich ore was met with 
in this mine. The Tyddyn-gwladys silver-lead mine has yielded a 
small quantity of gold, as also has the Cefn-dewddwr. Both are 
situated almost at the junction of the Menevian and the Maentwrog 

WALES. 131 

On the west of the river Mawddach, below its junction with 
the river Eden, gold has been obtained in small quantities from 
lodes at Ganllwyd, Coed-cy-fair, Berthllwyd, Goitref, Cae-gwernog, 
Cefn Coch, and Cae-mawr. These are either in the Maentwrog 
beds or, as in the case of Cefn Coch, are at the contact with the 
underlying Menevian beds. East of the Mawddach, and across the 
valley from the foregoing are Penrhos, Tyn-y-Penrhos, and Glasdir. 
The last is situated opposite the Tyn-y-Groes hotel, and a short 
distance up the Afon Pabi. The country here is of bedded 
slate (Festiniog beds) striking about north-east and south-west, 
and dipping south-eastward. The ore-body is not a defined vein, 
but appears to be an impregnation of the country-rock along a line 
of faulting, and is contained between two fairly well-defined walls, 
which are usually slickensided. The auriferous pyrites (pyrite and 
chalcopyrite) is distributed in irregular patches throughout the ore- 
body. The general tenor of the ore-body is about 1 1 per cent, of 
copper, with a very small proportion of gold, less than 1 ounce per 
ton of concentrates. 

The only other lodes to be noted in this area are those included 
in the Voel mines near Llanelltyd, where they occupy planes 
of contact between diabase and slates, the igneous rock in 
one case forming the hanging- wall and the slates the foot- wall of 
the vein. The auriferous quartz is generally stained with green 
chloritic matter, and is associated with zinc-blende, here the usual 
" indicator " for gold. The gold is sometimes contained in the 
quartz, but is more often deposited on the accompanying blende. 

The only noteworthy auriferous occurrence outside the watershed 
of the river Mawddach is that of Castell-carn-Dochan, about five miles 
from Bala, and two miles from the small village of Llanuwchllyn. 
The main auriferous vein strikes north-east and south-west, dips 
southward, and is composed of extremely clean quartz, completely 
free, as a rule, from sulphide ores. The* gold occurs in specks 
disseminated throughout the quartz. The lodes are in soft, black, 
shaly rocks, dipping eastward at about 45, very near their 
junction with the felspathic ash-beds and lavas which form the 
summit of Castell-carn-Dochan. Complete reduction works were 
erected in 1864, and up to the end of 1865 about 3,500 tons had 
been treated for a yield of 1,606 ounces. The lode has since 
been worked spasmodically, in 1889 yielding 12 \ ounces from 50 
tons, and, during the years 1895 to 1898 inclusive, 393 ounces of 
gold from 2,638 tons crushed. 

The gold or electrum of the Welsh auriferous region, when met 
with in situ, is scattered throughout the quartz matrix, or occurs 
deposited on blende or pyrites in vughs and cavities. It rarely 

132 EUROPE. 

shows any approach to crystallization. The following are average 
percentage analyses of vein gold from Clogau : 

No. of 









. 9-24 



These samples represent a value of 3. 16s. to 3. 16s. 6d. per 

The alluvial gold of the river Mawddach is found mainly in the 
bed of the stream, but a fair prospect may be washed in many 
places from the soil on the slopes of the valley. The gold occurs in 
small flattened grains, often coated with a haematitic film, and is 
associated with galena, blende, titanic iron ore, marcasite, and pyrite. 
Its specific gravity is low, namely, 15* 79, due, however, not so much 
to impurities as to the presence of numerous small air cavities. As 
a general rule, the Mawddach alluvial gold is worth about 5s. per 
ounce more than vein gold. It is also lighter in colour than the 
Clogau gold, owing to the admixture, in the latter, of copper with 
the ordinarily prevailing silver. 

The earliest recorded attempt to obtain gold from the sands of 
the river Mawddach was that of Mr. Frederick Walpole and Sir 
Augustus Webster, who obtained an appreciable quantity in the 
summer of 1852. In 1870, owing to the unprecedented lowness of 
the river Mawddach, several Australians and Californians worked 
its bed with good results. One sample of about 1 ounce weight 
was taken to Liverpool and there assayed at the rate of 23 carats 
(nearly 990 fine). Above Gwyn-fynydd no nuggets have been found, 
but they occur along the whole course of the river Mawddach from 
Rhaiddr Mawddach to Cymmer Abbey, the gold gradually becoming 
finer as the latter place is approached. 

An analysis of the alluvial gold of the river Mawddach made 
by Forbes gave the following results : 



in in. 

Quartz. . 




84- 8D . 

. 13-99 . 

. 0-34 . 

. 0-43 . 

. 0-35 . 

. 15-79 

It will be noted that this analysis shows a much lower value 
than those of the vein gold from Clogau cited above. This is due 
to the fact that none of the alluvial gold of the river Mawddach is 
derived from the Clogau lode, but in all probability arises from the 
degradation of the Gwyn-fynydd or neighbouring lodes, the gold of 
which is worth much less than that from Clogau, 8 miles to the 
south-east. A fruitless attempt has in recent years been made to 
dredge the gravels of the Mawddach. 



The earliest recorded notice of the occurrence of gold in Scotland 
is found in a grant (1153 a.d.) to the Abbey of Dunfermline of a 
tithe of all the gold which should accrue to David I from Fife and 
Fothrif , and Gilbert de Moravia is said to have discovered gold at 
Duriness (Durness), in the north-west of Sutherland, in 1245. 

With the discovery of the gold mines of Crawford Moor in the 
reign of James IV (1488 to 1513), we pass, however, from the region 
of speculation to that of fact, for in the Treasurer's accounts for 
1511, 1512, and 1513, are found many payments to Sir James 
Pettigrew for working the gold mines of that region. In 1524, it 
was enacted that the gold from Crawford Moor should be minted 
at the Cunyie House (the Scottish Mint). The Albany medal, 
struck in the same year, was made from gold found on Crawford 
Moor, as no doubt was much of the coinage of that period. 

In July, 1526, a lease of all the mines of gold, silver, and other 
metals was granted for 43 years to certain Germans and Dutchmen, 
Joachim Hochstetter, Gerard Sterk, Antony de Nikets, and others. 
To the same grantees, a license to coin was issued in the following 
year. But the results could not have been encouraging, for in 1531 
a payment is recorded to " the Dutchmen quhill cam here for the 
myndis, at their departing hamewart." In 1535, a commission was 
appointed to enquire into the workings of the gold mines, with the 
result that miners were imported from Lorraine in 1539. From 
1570 to 1583 licenses to work the gold mines of Scotland were 
successively assigned to Arnold von Bronchhorst, to Abraham 
Peterson (or Greybeard), and to Eustachius Roche (1583). The 
royalty demanded varied from 6 to 7 ounces per 100 ounces 
obtained, and the remainder was to be brought to the Cunyie 
House, where 22 Scots was paid for the ounce of fine gold 
and 40 shillings Scots for the ounce of fine silver. About 
1578, there appeared on the scene one Sir Bevis Bulmer, a man 
destined to play a great part in the development and working 
of the Crawford Moor deposits. The scenes of his operations lay 
principally on Mannock Moor and Wanlock Water in Nithsdale, 
and on Friar's Moor and Crawford Moor, and the district in 
the Leadhills. He worked the deposits very systematically, 
constructing head-races and tail-races, and appears to have been 
fairly successful. The largest nuggets of pure gold recorded by 
him are of 6 ounces and 5 ounces weight respectively. They were 
found within 2 feet of the moss at Lang Cleuch Head. 

In 1593, James VI granted the gold mines of Glengonnar 
to Thomas Foullis, a goldsmith, and a burgess of Edinburgh. 

134 EUROPE. 

In 1603, a sum of 200 was granted to Sir Bevis Bulmer, and in 
1604, 300 to George Bowes, to search for gold and other metals 
on Crawford Moor. Bowes reported the discovery of an auriferous 
vein, but later was doubtful of it being so. He gave up his work in 
1604. After Bowes's retirement, little appears to have been done till 
1616, when a grant of the Scottish mines was made to Stephen 
Atkinson, an Englishman and a refiner in the Mint of the Tower of 
London. The operations were apparently unsuccessful, for in 
1621 a lease was granted to John Hendlie, physician, for a period of 
21 years, and another in 1631, for 7 years, to James, Marquis of 
Hamilton. In 1649, grants are recorded in favour of Sir James 
Hope in respect of the Crawford Moor mines. 

At the present time, it is, of course, impossible to estimate with 
any approach to accuracy the quantity of gold yielded by the 
Crawford Moor placer deposits during the sixteenth and seventeenth 
centuries. Pennant, on what authority it does not appear, says, 
" In the reigns of James IV and James V, vast wealth was pro- 
cured in the Leadhills, from the gold found in the sands washed from 
the mountains ; in the reign of the latter not less than 300,000 
sterling." Dr. Lauder Lindsay places the yield still higher, 
namely, 500,000, but his authorities for this high sum are equally 
obscure. Bowes himself, speaking of the total produce of the 
Crawford Moor district, during his own and part of the preceding 
generation, places the yield at 100,000 sterling, and even this 
amount is probably overstating rather than understating the 

Lanarkshire. The district of Leadhills, southern Lanarkshire, 
lies about 44 miles south-east by south from Glasgow. The 
auriferous area lies almost entirely in rocks of Lower 
Silurian age of Llandovery, Caradoc-Llandeilo, and Arenig time. 
The surface-contact line of the Llandovery and the older underlying 
Caradoc-Llandeilo beds runs approximately north-east and south- 
west, parallel with, and some little distance to the north of the 
Potrail Water. 

The oldest rocks in the district are pillowy diabase-lavas which, 
with the overlying radiolarian cherts, are exposed in rapidly- 
recurring folds wherever denudation has proceeded sufficiently far 
to remove the younger rocks. The folds are generally isoclinal. 
and relief is often obtained by the development of thrust-planes . 
Overlying the radiolarian chert (Lower Llandeilo) is a well-defined 
but thin band of black shale the Glenkiln shales (Upper Llandeilo). 
Overlying the Glenkiln shales, at a short interval, and without any 
stratigraphical break, are the Hartfell shales (Caradoc), which at 
the Leadhills occasionally give place to coarse grey-wackes, grits, 


and conglomerates. It is in these arenaceous sediments alone that 
the metalliferous (galena) veins of the Leadhills are developed. As 
these veins approach the black shales, either laterally or in depth, 
they gradually become poorer, and finally, with contact, the galena 
disappears from the vein. 

The gold of the Leadhills area is found in the streams, into 
which it has been washed from a gravelly clay, locally known 
as " till," which lies on the slopes of the hills. It generally 
occurs as fine dust, but small nuggets have from time to time been 
observed. The largest on record weighed 27 ounces ; it is said to 
have been discovered about 1502, and, being larger than the 
Wicklow nugget of 22 ounces, is therefore the heaviest recorded 
British nugget. Gold-washing as an industry has been 
abandoned at Leadhills for many years, such gold as has been 
obtained during the last century having been collected for the 
purpose of making jewellery for wedding-presents, &c, to the 
ground landlords. The gold from Wanlockhead is of the average 
quality of British gold, the following being an assay : Gold, 
86-60; silver, 12-39; copper and iron, 0*35; loss, 0*66. The 
specific gravity is 16-50. 

Gold has also been found in situ in the Leadhills district. 
In 1803, Prof. Traill recorded gold from a vein of quartz at 
Wanlockhead, and in the Edinburgh Museum of Science and 
Art there is a specimen of clean, slightly water-worn, white 
quartz, containing gold which shows a tendency to wiriness. 
A specimen of auriferous quartz in the Edinburgh Museum of 
Science and Art, from Wingate burn, Leadhills, shows somewhat 
wiry gold, is but little water-worn, and is associated with a clean, 
milky- white quartz. Another specimen from Stake burn, Wan- 
lockhead, in the same museum, shows native gold disseminated 
throughout limonite and quartz. 

Sutherland. Though, as far back as 1853, a nugget weighing 
1| ounces is recorded as having been picked up in 1840 in the Kil- 
donan stream, and though, as we have already seen, gold was repu- 
ted to have been obtained in 1 245 by Gilbert de Moravia at Durness 
(a few miles south-east of Cape Wrath), it was not known to occur 
in any considerable quantity in Sutherland until November, 1868, 
when the re-discovery of gold was made in Kildonan burn, a small 
tributary of the Ullie. Following up the discovery, gold was found 
in the neighbouring burns, and a rush to the neighbourhood took 
place. At one time, in 1869, no less than 400 men were employed 
at the diggings. That the work was remunerative for the time 
being, is evidenced by the continued payment during a year of 
the license-fee for each digger of 1 per month, in addition to 

136 EUROPE. 

the royalty of 10 per cent, demanded by the Government. 
During the short period that these gravels were worked after 
the discovery of their auriferous character, royalty was paid on 
3,000 worth of gold ; but as the temptation to conceal the greater 
portion of the gold discovered must have been almost irresistible, it 
is possible, as estimated by Dr. Joass, that the total amount 
recovered was not less than 12,000. 

About the same time, gold was discovered, but in smaller 
quantities, in the Allt-Smeoral, or Gordon-bush burn, and in the 
Uisge Duibh or Blackwater, two streams falling into the head of 
Loch Brora. These were, however, worked for a very short time, 
since the license-fees obtained did not by any means compensate 
for the damage occasioned by the diggers to pastoral interests by 
driving sheep away from the sheltered valley to the bleak moorland. 
Digging was therefore prohibited in the Brora district from January 
1st, 1870, and has never since been resumed. 

The goldfields of Sutherland are therefore restricted to 
two main localities to the tributary streams flowing from 
the north into the Ullie or Helmsdale, and to the two 
streams, already mentioned, flowing into Loch Brora. All 
the former have their sources in the highlands running along 
the boundary between the counties of Sutherland and Caithness. 
The auriferous streams, are, in order from the mouth of the Helms- 
dale upward, the Allt Torrish, Allt Breacich, Allt Duibh, Kildonan, 
Allt Ant' Fionnaraidh, Suisgill, and Kinbrace (Cn Preas). The 
Craggie, flowing from the west into the Ullie, has also yielded alluvial 

The whole country through which these streams run is typical 
moorland, with heather-clad lower hills and with extensive marshy 
ground at the sources of the streams in the high lands. The valleys 
of the streams have been cut down rapidly, and are narrow and 
fairly straight. Alluvial flats of any size are wanting along their 
course, and it is only in the main stream, the Ullie or Helmsdale, 
that such are developed. 

The rocks of the district have been mapped by the officers of the 
Geological Survey, and are, in the main, granites and schists. The 
auriferous district proper is almost wholly in schistose rocks, 
which have been divided into quartz-schists, flaser mica-schists, and 
granulitic biotite-schists, clearly representing original sandstones 
and shales, probably of Lower Silurian age. The upper portion of 
the Kildonan, and the main part of the Suisgill, lie in these rocks. 
Overlying the metamorphic schists, and rendering it at all 
times difficult, and in some cases impossible, to map out the 
boundaries of the rocks, is a heavy deposit of glacial drift, overlain 
in its turn by thick beds of peat. 


Pi -il 














































I i 

h- 1 







The gold is found as small grains in the beds of the streams. 
and in the gravel banks along their courses. It is naturally most 
abundant in the coarser gravels, and in the crevices afforded by 
the upturned edges of the flaggy schists, across the strike of which the 
streams run ; but it appears to be also disseminated throughout 
the drift. Although most abundant in the lower courses of the 
streams, it is not found there alone, but occurs in the heads 
of the burns, clearly demonstrating either long-continued denuda- 
tion, or more probably, a concentration of the gold in the drift which 
caps all but the highest hills. The grains of gold are generally 
flattened, and, except in the case of the larger nuggets, present 
very little evidence of rolling or attrition by the action of water. 
The heaviest nugget discovered here weighed 2 ounces 17 dwts. 
Generally speaking, the gold becomes finer from north-west to 
south-east, indicating perhaps a north-western origin for the gold 
of this area. The alluvial gold of Kinbrace burn is coarse and 
shotty, as also, but in a less degree, is that of the Suisgill, while 
Kildonan gold farther to the south-east is very much finer than 
either of the above. The richest deposits yet found have been in the 
Gold burn, a stream flowing from the east into the Suisgill. Here, 
indeed, several colours or specks of gold may be obtained from 
nearly every dish. 

The matrix of the gold is to be sought for in the quartz-veins in 
the local schists, and possibly in similar veins in the granites to the 
north-west ; but in the latter case only where they are adjacent to, 
or intersect the schists. An examination of the beds of the streams 
disclosed several quartz-veins, apparently striking and dipping 
with the country. 

The two auriferous localities at Loch Brora are the Allt Smeoral, 
or the Gordon-bush burn, and the Uisge Duibh, or Blackwater. 
The former flows from the north into the loch about f-mile from its 
head. The rocks are Lower Silurian flaggy quartzites and mica- 
ceous schists dipping south-eastward from 40 to 60. Granite- 
dykes and quartz- veins are common in fhe upper waters of the Allt 
Smeoral. The gold is found in the bottom-stratum of coarse grit 
lying on the rock, both in the terraces and in the flats of the stream, 
and is overlain by a deposit of reddish clay and sand, much of which 
has been obviously derived from the neighbouring Old Red 
Sandstone area. 

The Uisge Duibh, or Blackwater, flows into the head of Loch 
Brora, in the upper part of its course, over Lower Silurian rocks 
precisely similar in composition to those noted above, and through 
an alluvial flat for more than two miles of its lower course. A short 
distance above its junction with the Brora river, two miles from the 

138 EUROPE. 

Loch, gold has been found. Here the burn runs across the strike 
of the rocks, which dip south-eastward at angles of about 20". 
The micaceous schists and quartzites are seamed by numerous narrow 
dykes of granite. The gold occurs in a bluish sandy clay, together 
with rolled fragments of red granite and quartz, and is somewhat 
coarse in character. There is, however, little alluvium in the stream 
after it leaves the valley plain formed by the filling of Loch Brora. 

Other Scottish Occurrences. The other Scottish localities in 
which gold has been discovered may be grouped into two divisions : 

(a). Occurrences which may be associated with the Leadhills 
alluvial deposits. These are, in addition to the streams already 
mentioned as flowing from the high land in the vicinity of Leadhills 
(Shortcleuch, Leadburn, Elvan, Langcleuch, Glengonnar, Wanlock), 
those in valleys flowing into the Tweed (Manor Water, Meggat. 
Yarrow, and Glengaber), and those flowing into the Annan (Moffat 
Water and Dobbs Linn). All the above occurrences are alluvial, 
but auriferous pyrites is recorded from Torbockhill, near Annan. 
This on analysis yielded 4 dwts. of gold and 10 ounces of silver 
per ton. The auriferous pyrites was taken from an old working 
called " the cave," which was worked in the eighteenth century by 

(b). Perthshire occurrences (Breadalbane area), about Loch Tay 
and the headwaters of the Tay. According to Lauder Lindsay, a 
nugget found here in former times weighed 2 ounces. He also 
records gold in its matrix from Tyndrum, at the head of Strathfillan, 
western Perthshire, where argentiferous galena occurs in mica- 
slate near its junction with quartzite. In 1861, James Tennant 
found gold in quartz, associated with iron-pyrites at Taymouth. 
Gold has also been recorded by various observers from other 
parts of Perthshire : from galena veins at Lochearnhead, where 
arsenical pyrites has yielded at the rate of 6 ounces to the ton, and 
where particles of native gold have been found in the gossan ; Glen 
Lednoch ; Ardvorlich, south side of Loch Earn, in mining for 
argentiferous galena ; Cornebruchill, on the southern side of Loch 
Tay, opposite Ben Lawers ; Glenturret ; Glenalmond ; and Glen- 
quaich, near Loch Freuchie. There is in the British Natural History 
Museum a nugget of 1,010 grains from Turrerich, Glenquaich, Bread- 
albane. It is of a brassy-yellow colour, and is apparently of very 
poor quality. It contains about one-third of its weight of quartz. 
The gold is extremely cavernous, and shows a tendency to crystalliza- 
tion, though no distinct crystal-faces are to be seen. 

Small quantities of alluvial gold have been recorded from 
tributaries of the Dee at Braemar and Invercauld, and in the sea- 
sand of the coast near Aberdeen. 


In 1869, gold-dust in small quantity was found in the alluvium 
of the headwaters of the Erricht and Nairn rivers in Inverness ; 
gold was also washed from the granites there by Dr. Bryce in 1870. 


There is no actual knowledge of the discovery or working of gold- 
deposits in Ireland before 1765. Gerald Boate, in his Natural 
History of Ireland, written in 1652, mentions the occurrence of 
alluvial gold in the Mayola (Miola) river, which flows into Lough 
Neagh through a portion of Londonderry county. 

It would appear that the first well-authenticated discovery of 
gold in Ireland was made about 1765, a small nugget being obtained 
in the Ballinvalley brook, which flows into the Aughrim 
river, near its junction with the Ovoca. Five years later another 
small nugget was found in the same stream by a boy while fishing, 
but it was not until September, 1795, that it became generally 
known that the gravels of this stream (then called the Aughatina- 
vought, but afterwards called by Mr. Thomas Weaver the Ballin- 
valley or Gold-mine river) were more or less auriferous throughout 
its whole course. A rush to the spot naturally followed, and in a 
very short time a great concourse of peasants were engaged in the 
arduous and unaccustomed work of gold-washing, using the crudest 
of appliances. In October, 1795, when the news of the discovery 
came to the ears of the authorities, a strong force of Kildare militia 
was sent to turn away the peasants, who, driven from Ballin- 
valley and Ballinasiloge, the richest spots on the Aughatinavought, 
flocked to the neighbouring streams, but these apparently did not 
prove as rich as that first exploited, for work in them ceased after 
a time. 

Government operations were conducted on these gravels until 
May, 1798, when the works were destroyed by the rebels, and the 
workings were deserted for more than two years. During the period 
of working, the directors had obtained 555 ounces 17 dwts. 22J 
grains of gold, valued at 2,146. 15s. The cost was 1,815. 16s. 5d., 
and thus the produce of the undertaking defrayed all expenses, 
and left a surplus in hand. Streaming operations, carried on 
in 1801 in the branches of the Gold-mine river and in adjacent 
streams, yielded 388 ounces 6 dwts. 16f grains, valued at 1,528. 
12s. 11 Jd., so that the total quantity of gold recovered by the Govern- 
ment operations was 944 ounces 4 dwts. 15 grains, of the value of 
3,675. 7s. lljd. The workings were abandoned in 1803. 

In 1840, Messrs. Crockford & Co. obtained the rights to the 
auriferous deposits and worked them energetically for a period of 

140 EUROPE. 

nearly 4 months, during which time they obtained no less than 
1,800 worth of gold, including one nugget of 11 ounces and another 
of 4 ounces 12 dwts. 12 grains. It seems curious that, notwith- 
standing this apparently profitable return, the enterprise should 
have been abandoned so quickly ; and further that, if we except 
more or less surreptitious working by the peasants, no attempt 
was made to recover the gold of the Gold-mine river until 1862, 
when the Carysfort Mining Company leased the gold-royalties. 
This company appears to have devoted its attention rather to the 
discovery of auriferous veins in the neighbourhood, than to the 
working of the stream gravels ; but its operations in the former 
respect were no more successful than were those of Messrs. King, 
Weaver, and Mills in the early years of the century. The company 
ceased active work in 1865, having obtained only 203. 5s. worth 
of gold. Since that time, with the exception of some desultory 
streaming by Mr. Acheson from 1876 to 1879, no work has been 
done on these gravels. 

The total yield of the Ovoca gravels since 1795 is estimated 
at from 7,440 to 9,390 ounces, of a value between 28,855 and 
36,185 ; but the estimated amount bulks very largely in these 
totals and the amount recovered is possibly much less than that 
stated. a 

Though, so far as is yet known, no other auriferous deposits of 
economic value occur in Ireland, the presence of gold has been 
detected in various places, both* in veins and in alluvial sands. 
Under the latter head are the sands of the Glendun river, county 
Antrim, which enters the sea at Cushendun, and flows from the 
flanks of Slieve-an-Orra ; the sands of the Dodder river above Rath- 
f arnham, which yielded the two small nuggets picked up many years 
ago on Stephen's Green, Dublin ; Balliscorney Gap, county Dublin ; 
and the " black sand " deposit near Greystones, county Wicklow. 
This last deposit appears to have resulted from the concentration, 
by wind and by wave-action, of the heavier constituents of the 
drift-sands that are here exposed on the beach. It extends along 
the beach for several hundreds of feet and was, when examined, 
several inches in thickness. It contained 21*5 per cent, of magnetic 
material (magnetite, chromite, and ilmenite), together with red and 
brown haematite, iron pyrites, rutile, cassiterite, and garnets. On 
washing and panning 7^1bs. of black sand, 37 colours of very finely 
divided gold were left in the dish. Indeed, " gold was found in 
small quantities in all the specimens of black sand taken from the 
beach." 6 

a Kinahan, Jour. Roy. Geol. Soc. Ireland, VI, 1882, p. 147. 
h Idem, loc. cit., p. 113. 


Gold in situ has also been reported from Bray Head, 
county Wicklow ; from the gossan of the Dhurode copper-lode, 
Carrigacat, county Cork ; and from the pyrites and gossan of the 
mineral lodes in the Ballymurtagh, Cronebane, and Connary 
mines in the Vale of Ovoca, several miles to the north of 
the Gold-mine river. The pyrites-lodes of the last-mentioned 
district have long been known to carry a small quantity of gold. 

From the foregoing, it will therefore be apparent that the 
only Irish occurrence requiring description in this place is that 
of the Gold-mine and adjacent valleys in Wicklow. 

The Gold-mine river flows into the Aughrim river at Wooden- 
bridge, immediately above the junction of the Aughrim with the 
Ovoca. Its sources are on the southern and eastern slopes of 
Croghan Kinshelagh mountain, the highest eminence in the 
vicinity. For the greater part of its course it flows through 
a miniature ravine, with steep, well-wooded sides. These 
narrow trench-like valleys in the slaty rocks are characteristic, 
not only of the tributary streams, but also of the main 
rivers the Aughrim and the Ovoca. About f-mile above the 
confluence of the Gold-mine river with the Aughrim, the former is 
augmented in volume by the Eastern stream, also auriferous. All 
the other auriferous streams lie to the west of the Gold-mine river, 
and are tributaries of the Aughrim. They are the Ballintemple, a 
mile above Woodenbridge ; the Clone ; and the Coolbawn, which 
flows also from the slopes of Croghan Kinshelagh, but to the north- 
west. Gold in small quantities has also been reported from the 
Ballythomas stream, still further to the west. 

All these streams run through an area of Lower Silurian (or 
Cambro-Silurian) grey, green, and dark slates, sandy shales, and 
grits, belonging probably both to the Caradoc and to the 
Llandeilo beds. They have, in this district, a general north-east 
to south-west strike and a dip south-eastward of 70 to 80. To 
the west and north-west of the Gold-mines river, and forming 
the high lands of the Croghan Kinshelagh (1,987 feet), Monateigue 
(1,892 feet), and Ballycoog (1,169 feet) hills, occurs a great develop- 
ment of plutonic and volcanic rocks. Both appear at the surface 
with outcrops elongated in a general north-easterly and south- 
westerly direction. The plutonic rocks occur as narrow dykes or 
masses, and are essentially microgranites. The volcanic rocks 
are developed farther to the north-east than the microgranites, 
but preserve in the outline of their exposures the same general 
north-east to south-west elongation noted in fehe case of the 
microgranites. They are mainly epidiorites, quartz- and augite- 
diorites, and dolerites. 



The gold of the Croghan Kinshelagh area is in all cases found in 
the gravels in the beds of the streams. Since the river- valleys 
are, in Wicklow, extremely narrow and deep, it follows that concen- 
tration of the gravels has been restricted, at any rate, since the 
initiation of the present valley-system, to the well-defined lines 
represented by the present courses of the streams. 

The black sand associated with the gold is composed mainly 
of magnetite, ilmenite, haematite and iron-pyrites, but cassiterite, 
galena, wolfram, molybdenite, gold, copper-pyrites, and oxides 
of manganese also occur in the sand. The gold of the gravels is 
generally in fine grains, presenting evidences of considerable 
attrition, especially in the lower portions of the streams. Mr. 
Thomas Weaver, however, noted gold ;t crystallized in octa- 
hedrons, and also in elongated garnet dodecahedrons," and 
" frosted ' : or crystallized gold has been remarked by various 
observers from the upper portions of the valleys. 

The heaviest nugget found in Wicklow was picked up by a 
party of peasants, in or about September, 1795, and weighed 22 
ounces. Fifteen other nuggets from Wicklow, ranging in weight 
from 4 ounces 8 dwts. to 1 dwt. 4 grains, are on record. 

The following are various assays of Wicklow gold : 

No. of 















. . 



, , 










The richest deposit appears to have occurred in the upper course 
of the Western auriferous stream (also called the Ballinvalley stream) 
about |-mile below Ballinagore bridge. Here, at the Red Hole, and 
for some 1,200 feet below, the most remunerative results were 
obtained by the peasants, by Messrs. King, Weaver, and Mills, and 
by all later workers. At Lyra, the junction of the Eastern and 
Western streams, a rich deposit was found containing much coarse 
gold. Below Lyra, and as far as Rostigah, the gravels of the main 
stream were productive ; but below Rostigah, they became too 
poor, and the overburden proved too heavy to work. 

The Ballintemple brook, flowing into the Aughrim from the 
north-western flank of Croghan Kinshelagh, was worked by Messrs. 
Crockford and Company, and subsequently by the Carysfort 
Mining Company, in both cases yielding gold, both fine and coarse. 



In the Coolbawn stream, flowing northward to the Aughrim from 

Croghan Kinshelagh, Mr. Thomas Weaver found a 2 J-ounce nugget 

the largest discovered outside the Ballinvalley stream. 

The source of the alluvial gold was probably in the immediate 
vicinity of Croghan Kinshelagh, the present auriferous deposit 
representing the concentrates of a pyritous lode that has suffered 
degradation. For this view some corroboration is afforded by assays 
of quartz from a vein 8 inches wide, and in the immediate vicinity 
of the old Government workings, that assayed at the rate of 4 dwts. 
of gold to the ton. 

General. In reviewing the geological distribution of the 
known auriferous veins of Great Britain (Merioneth, Leadhills, 
&c), the most striking feature is their more or less intimate con- 
nection with the diabasic intrusions of the older palaeozoic rocks. 
Further, in the case of the alluvial auriferous deposits of 
Sutherland and Wicklow, where the parent-veins have not been 
located, the available evidence leads to the inference that those 
veins also are, or have been, located in Lower Silurian areas, with 
which are generally associated diabasic igneous rocks. a 

The total yield of gold in Great Britain and Ireland may, with 
the exception of that from the Leadhills, be computed with sufficient 
approach to accuracy to give a considerable degree of value to the 
estimation. The yield for each country has already been dealt with 
under its respective heading, and the total is as follows : 

England : North Molton 581 

Wales : since 1844 
Scotland : Leadhills 

Sutherland (1868-1869) 

Total to 1906 






The auriferous alluvial gravels of Portugal were worked succes- 
sively by the Phoenicians, Romans, and Arabs. The richer deposits 
were in all probability exhausted long before the Christian era, but 
nevertheless sufficient gold remains at the present day to afford a 
scanty subsistence to a few washers. The gravels lie along the course 
of the Tagus and its tributaries, and more particularly at Santarem, 
Almeira, Alvega, and Rosmaninhal. The Elga, the boundary stream 
between the province of Beira in Portugal and Caceres in Spain, is 

a For a detailed description of British gold occurrences, together with a complete 
bibliography, see Maclaren, Trans. Inst. M.E., XXV, 1902-3, pp. 435, et seq. 



probably the most productive. Near Monfortinlio, a small village 
on its course, the auriferous beds are from 12 to 18 feet thick, with 
a pay-streak of from H to 6 feet in thickness. The overburden is 
of clay. The pay-streak carries gold to the amount of from a few 
grains to 2J dwts. per metric ton, but the average tenor of the whole 
vertical series is probably not more than 7 grains per ton. rt 

In Northern Portugal, in the Provinces of Minho and Traz-os- 
Montes, quartz-antimonite (stibnite) veins carry gold in gneiss and 
palaeozoic slates, near granite contacts. The principal district 
lies on the Lower Douro at Vallongo, about six miles east-north-east 
of Oporto. This district is some 42 miles long and 7 miles wide. 
Its gold-production is small, being little more than a kilo (32-15 
ozs.) per annum. b 

The important antimony deposits of the Traz-os-Montes carry, 
in addition to stibnite, auriferous chalcopyrite and pyrite in a 
quartz matrix. The outcrops of these veins furnished to the ancients 
a considerable amount of free gold, liberated, of course, by the 
weathering of the sulphides. Auriferous quartz, generally asso- 
ciated with copper and iron pyrites, exists in the districts of 
Coimbra, Evora, Beja, Foro, and Porto. The poor chalcopyrite 
veins of La Sierra da Caviera, 6 miles south of Grandola, itself 
south-east of Lisbon, contain 1 to 3 dwts. gold and 1| to 10 ounces 
silver per ton. c 

Marine placers are said to occur on the coast near Adica, between 
the mouth of the Tagus and Cape Espichel.^ 

The following table shows the official return of gold from 
Portugal during recent years 6 : 

a Breidenbach, Zeit. fur prakt. Geol., 1893, p. 250. 

h Aklburg, Zeit. fur prakt. Geol., XV, 1907, p. 204. 

'' Min. Jour., November 30, 1907. 

d Leonkard, Top. Min., 1843, p. 245. 

e Dipl. and Consular Reports. 

J It is not clear whether tke gold obtained from antimony concentrates is included 
in these figures. 



Both Strabo a and Pliny 6 give detailed accounts of the ancient 
gold washings of Spain, the latter describing with great particularity 
the methods of undermining the rock and of washing off the surface 
soil and overburden by the system known to modern placer miners 
as " hushing " or " booming." Incidentally he mentions the 
haphazard nature of ancient mining : " Nor yet even then are they 
sure of gold, nor indeed were they by any means certain that there 
was any to be found when they first began to excavate, it being 
quite sufficient as an inducement to undergo such perils and to 
incur such vast expense to entertain the hope that they shall obtain 
what they so eagerly desire." Spain was the richest gold country 
known to Pliny, and for the possession of its placers many wars 
were waged. According to the same historian, the annual yield of 
Spanish gold was 20,000 pounds. As each Roman pound was equiva- 
lent to perhaps 10 ounces troy, this quantity may represent 200,000 
ounces troy. At one time no less than 60,000 slaves were employed ; 
their sufferings were paralleled only by those inflicted many centuries 
later by the Spaniards themselves on the unfortunate inhabitants 
of the New World. 

In the northern provinces of Asturias and Leon the remains of 
the Roman workings may still be traced, and the canals or races 
by which the water was brought to command the gravels are still 
visible. Some idea of the scale on which these workings were 
performed may be gained from the fact that water was conducted 
to the alluvial gravels by channels aggregating 100 miles in length. 
These deposits appear to have been exhausted before the commence- 
ment of the Christian era and washing therein has been carried 
on only spasmodically during the last 2,000 years. 

The auriferous occurrences of Spain form two groups, one in the 
north in the provinces of Leon and Asturias, and the other in the 
south in Granada. The northern area lies along the flanks of the 
Cantabrian Mountains (Sierra Cantabrica) west of a line drawn from 
the town of Leon, in the province of the same name, to Oveido, in 
the province of Asturias. Its westward extension is marked by the 
western boundaries of the above-mentioned provinces, and its 
southern by the railway line connecting Villafranca and Astorga. 
The principal auriferous streams of the region are the Sil, 
Duerna, and Eria, together with the Burbia, Ancares, and Qua, 
principal tributaries of the Sil. The auriferous region has a 
total length north and south of some 80 miles, and is 

a Lib. II, cap. II, par. 38. 
h Lib. XXXIII, cap. 21. 


146 EUROPE. 

40 miles in breadth. The rocks of the Cantabrian Moun- 
tains are Palaeozoic (Silurian) slates and schists much intruded 
by granite. A great number of quartz veins occur in these rocks and 
are obviously the source of the alluvial gold. The only quartz 
mines that have recently been worked in the Leon province are 
those in the ferruginous mica-schist of Menival. The valuable 
deposits, however, appear to be auriferous gravels, which may 
occasionally, when developed as high-level terraces, attain an extra- 
ordinary thickness (900 feet) ; their average thickness may be 
assumed to be some 30 to 60 feet. They are disposed along the 
streams on both slopes of the Sierra Cantabrica, but are best developed 
in the Rio Sil, where the remains of the aqueducts of the Romans 
are especially numerous. The average tenor of these gravels, 
according to Breidenbach, a who made numerous assays from 
Navalgas, La Pol, Allanda, Nieves, Palacios-Sil, Paramos-Sil, 
Cuevas-Sil, and Salientinos, was nearly 2 dwts. (3 grammes) per ton ! 
None of the gold-quartz veins yielded results higher than 2 dwts. 
(3-22 grammes) per metric ton, and the majority gave only some 
9 or 10 grains to the metric ton. It is therefore fairly clear that the 
northern Spanish gold-quartz veins are of little present economic 
value, and that the Romans, or even their predecessors, the Phoeni- 
cians and the Carthaginians, have long ago exhausted any secondary 
enrichments that may have been formed at their outcrops. Little 
information is available as to the tenor of the placer deposits, 
though serious attempts have from time to time been made to work 
these. In 1887 the Rio Sil and Leon Mining Company operated 
on the Duerna river. They found the beds to consist essentially of 
180 feet of poor gravel overlying a richer pay-streak that rested 
on bed-rock. It was found that the Romans had already worked 
patches of the pay-streak by stripping the over-burden by "booming." 
The company sank several trial pits to bed-rock, which was reached 
at depths of from 16 to 28 feet, of which 9 to 16 feet were over- 
burden and 7 to 12 feet were pay-dirt. 

According to Jones h the average yield from the trial pits by 
panning was about 1 8 grains per ton. A nugget weighing 26 grains 
was obtained, while another with crushed quartz crystals attached 
weighed 23 dwts. 13 grains. The company ceased work owing to 
uncertainty of tenure and to claims for compensation for damage 
done by the debris that was swept down the streams from the 
alluvial workings. The cultivators living on the lower reaches 
of the Rio Sil further succeeded in obtaining a legal injunction against 
working. Desultory washing is carried on during a few weeks in the 

a Zeit. fur prakt. Geol., I, 1893, p. IS. 
b Trans. Inst. M.E., XX, 1900, p. 427. 



summer by local washers, who use the batea. Their earnings are, 
however, insignificant, ranging, under exceptionally fortunate 
conditions, from 5 to 10 pesetas (4s. to 8s.) per head per day. ft 

The southern auriferous occurrences of Spain lie along the banks 
of the Darro and Genii streams on the northern slopes of the Sierra 
Nevada in Granada. The Sierra Nevada is made up principally 
of gneiss, schists (micaceous, hornblendic, and chloritic), and 
granulites. The gravels are Pliocene or Pleistocene in age, and are 
composed of coarse gravel containing at times large boulders. Beds 
of clay are often interstratified with the gravel. All the rocks repre- 
sented in the gravels are to be found in situ in the Sierra Nevada. 
Boulders of mica-schist are occasionally met with containing gold- 
quartz veins. A tough, highly ferruginous clay, containing much 
sericitic mica, was largely washed for gold by the ancients. Their 
workings extended to more than 1,000 feet above the present bed of 
the Genii. The tenor of the Granada deposits varied from less than 
a grain to 1\ grains per cubic metre. These deposits are interesting 
as furnishing the only example of modern " hydraulicing " that has 
been practised on a large scale in Europe. The head-race is nearly 
11 miles (16 km.) long, of which more than 4 miles are run through 
tunnels. The available head thus gained was about 550 feet. 
On the way to the point of attack, the water was carried across a 
valley by an iron pipe-siphon 25 inches in diameter and 2,600 feet 
long. No details are available as to the results from this hydraulic 
installation. h 

The following table shows the amount of gold obtained in 
Spain during recent years : c 

Metric Tons. 




















. . 

. . 


, . 

. . 


Elsewhere in Spain gold in minute quantities has been reported 
from the Sierra da Gaudarrama, near San Ildefonsa, in Segovia; 
from Membris in Caceres ; from Culera in Gerona, on the south side 

a Sowerby, Jour. Soc. Arts, XXXIII., 1884, p. 359. 
6 Bourdnriat, Bull. Soc. Beige de Geol., VII, 1894, p. 50. 
c Estadistica Minera de Espana, Madrid, 1901-1905. 

148 EUROPE. 

of the Pyrenees ; from La Nava de Jadraque in Guadaljara ; from 
Las Hurdes, Caceres, and Escambrax ; and from Penaflor in 
Seville. a 


Numerous streams in France are reported to be gold-bearing. 
These are mainly in the departments of Ariege, Garonne, Tarn, and 
Herault, where the streams flow northward from the Pyrenees ; and 
in the departments of Ardennes and Meurthe-et-Moselle in the 
north, very near the German frontier. 6 

The southern deposits have been worked spasmodically since 
Roman times. The wealth of the French rivers was highly 
esteemed by Strabo, Diodorus, and other ancient writers. 
Some of the streams, as the Ariege (Aurigera), indeed, owe 
their names to the presence of gold. c The Ariege is auriferous- 
between Foix and Pamiers, and nuggets weighing \ oz. have 
been found in its sands. d The source of the gold appears to be in the 
Pyrenees. At La Caunette, however, in the north of the Depart- 
ment of Aude, are numerous small pyritous quartz veins, in mica- 
schists and gneiss, that are occasionally auriferous to the extent 
of 5 oz. to 1 oz. per ton. These and similar veins may have 
furnished some portion of the alluvial gold of the neighbouring 
streams. e 

In the Erieux stream, Dep. de l'Ardeche, there was found a 
nugget of gold weighing 17 \ ounces (537 grammes). Fairly large 
plates of gold have also been obtained near La Voulte on the 
right bank of the Rhone. The Rhone elsewhere, as on the left 
bank at La Roche-de-Glun, and near Givors, &c, carries auriferous 
gravels that were formerly washed for gold. 

Ancient alluvial deposits have possibly furnished the gold of a 
Carboniferous conglomerate near Bessieges, in the Department of 
Gard, in the Cevennes, where gold occurs in minute quantities 
in the quartzose pebbles of the Millstone Grit.' LaurS 1 records the 

a Navarro, Act. Soc. Espafi. Hist. Nat., II, July, 1893 ; III, Feb., 1894 ; Paillette, 
Bull. Soc. Geol., 2, IX, 1852, p. 482 ; Antissier, Bull. Soc. Ind. Min., St. Etienne, XIII,. 
1884, p. 125 ; Nogues, lb., XIV, 1885, p. 931 ; Id., Compt. Rend. Acad. Sci., XCVIII,. 
1884, p. 760. 

h Dewalque, Ann. Soc. Geol. Belg., XXIII, 1895, p. 43. 

c Caraven-Cachin, Bull. Soc. d'Hist. Nat. Toulouse, XXXIV, 1901, p. 66. 

d Loc. cit., p. 70. 

e Bernard, Annales des Mines, Ser. 9, XI, 1897, p. 602. 

/Simonin, Compt. Rend. Acad. Sci., LXII, 1886, p. 1042. 

g Compt. Rend. Acad. Sci., Paris, CXLII, 1906, p. 1410. 



presence of gold in the Trias (Keuper), from which an assay of 
a sandy dolomite (near Raucourt, Dep. de Meurthe-et-Moselle) 
yielded as much as 1| ounces per ton of rock, while other assays 
from greater depths gave 4 dwts. and 2i dwts. per ton ! 

The only gold-vein of importance worked in France in former 
times was that of La Gardette in the department of Isere, near 
Bourg d'Oisans, east-south-east of Grenoble. It has been known 
since Greek and Roman times, and has since then been worked in 
desultory fashion. At times its yield has given rise to considerable 
excitement, and this was particularly the case in the years 1733, 1781, 
and 1841. The gold occurs in a quartz- vein traversing a gneiss 
which is overlain unconformably by dolomitic beds. The gneiss 











s "s-JX. 



Fig. 74. Cross -section, showing La Gardette Lode (c, b, n) (Rickard). 

is part of a series of schistose rocks that has apparently suffered 
metamorphism in Permo-Carboniferous times. The vein ceases 
abruptly at the old eroded surface of "the gneiss. Its strike is 
nearly due east and west, and it is exceedingly well denned. The 
gangue is a remarkably banded, ribboned, and laminated quartz. 
The walls of the veins are well slickensided. Galena, and 
copper and iron pyrites accompany the gold, the first being the 
most favourable for the occurrence of gold. According to Rickard" 
the infilling of the fissure was later than Triassic times, and is 
possibly to be associated with the intrusion of an amygdaloidal 
diabase which occurs in the neighbourhood. The yield of the La 
Gardette mine has on the whole been insignificant since its upper 

Trans. Am. Inst. M.E., XXI, 1892, p. 84. 

1 50 EUROPE. 

enriched portions have been exhausted. The total vertical depth 
explored exceeds 400 feet. 

Four deposits containing gold are now being worked in France : 
(1) La Lucette, near Laval, Department de Mayenne ; (2) La Belliere 
par Montrevault, St. Pierre Montlimart, Department de Maine et 
Loire ; (3) Le Chatelet, Department de Creuse ; (4) and at Carcas- 
sone, Department d'Aude. 

In December, 1904, the first gold-mill (10-stamp) in France was 
put in operation at La Lucette mine, near Laval, in the Department 
of Mayenne. The mine is mainly worked for antimony, and produces 
some 150 tons regulus per month. The gangue is quartz with auri- 
ferous mispickel. The daily production of gold in 1905 was some 
32 ounces (1 kilo), in the form of concentrates carrying 3 or 4 kilos 
gold per ton. The production from La Lucette mine for 1905 was 
6,759 tons ore, worth 10,158 (253,945 francs). Seventy-five tons of 
very rich ore were treated for a yield of more than 2 ounces per ton. 
During 1907 these mines yielded gold to the value of 42,015 
(1,050,380 francs), or more than double that of the preceding year. a 

At La Belliere, in the Vendee, an ancient Roman quartz mine 
carrying auriferous mispickel, is worked. 6 The Le Chatelet mines 
produced during the month of December, 1907, 180 tons (metric) 
ore that yielded 915-7 ounces (28-483 kilos) gold worth 3,873 
(96,843-55 francs). In addition to the foregoing, about 250 ounces 
(8 kg.) were obtained by cyaniding. The Le Chatelet installation 
contains the first cyanide mill erected in France for the treat- 
ment of native gold ores. The Montrevault and Carcassone 
mines yield somewhat less than Le Chatelet. At Martigne- 
Ferchaud, Department of Ille-et-Vilaine (Brittany), gold-bearing 
antimonite veins similar to those of La Lucette are being worked. 
Free gold is rare. The antimonite carries about 9 grammes per 
metric ton, while associated-arsenopyrite has a tenor of 8 grammes. 
The ore occurs in irregular quartz veinlets in a greenstone (diorite 
or diabase) dyke intrusive through clay-slates of Ordovician age. c 

For the seven years from 1896 to 1902 inclusive, the average 
annual gold production of France was worth a little less than 
30,000 stg. In 1906, 41,400 metric tons ore were treated for a 
yield of 24,267-6 ounces (756 kg.) gold, worth 35,529 only.^ 
The total gold yield of France in the beginning of 1908 was about 
3,700 ounces per month. 

a Echo des Mines, May 4, 1908. 

b Strap, Eng. Min. Jour., Feb. 9, 1905, p. 280. 

c Stutzer, Zeit. fur. prakt. Geol., XV, 1907, p. 219. 

^Statist, de l'lnd. Minerale en France, &c, pour l'annee 190G. 



The older fundamental rocks of the Alpine chain contain 
sporadic pyritous occurrences which are occasionally auriferous. 
On the south side of the Simplon, not far from the Swiss boundary 
village of Gondo, are the most noteworthy of the Swiss 
gold occurrences. Auriferous veins occur here in the region 
of the eastern slopes of Monte Rosa. They closely resemble those 
of the Val d'Anzasca on the Italian side. The country of the veins 
is essentially an antigorite-gneiss. The vein fissures traversing the 
gneiss strike N. 25 W., and dip at steep angles to the north-east. 

Some ten more or less parallel veins occur in an auriferous zone 
about 1,100 yards (a kilometre) in width. They are oxidised to 
depths of from 60 to 150 feet, and have there been worked open- 
cast by the ancients. Below the oxidised zone the gangue is made 
up of country and quartz. The main veins are crossed by 
cupriferous stringers. The richer workable portions are pockets 
from 13 to 66 feet (4 to 20 m.) long and rarely more than 1 foot 
(30 cm.) wide. The gangue is quartz and calcite ; the ore, pyrite 
and chalcopyrite with subordinate galena and blende. Free gold is 
no longer met with. The average value of the better ore in the 
Camozetta vein is about 1 ounce (30 grammes) per ton, but it may 
reach some 2| ounces per ton. The period of maximum production 
of these veins appears to have been between 1820 and 1830. Some 
were worked as early as 1810. In later years they were worked 
vigorously in 1871, and again from 1894 to 1896. a 

In the Canton of Ticino, between Lake Maggiore and Lake 
Lugano, auriferous occurrences have been met with at Astano, 
Novaggio, and Tesserete. South-east of Astano in the Val Tresa are 
traces of old gold mines. These old workings have fallen in, but so 
far as may be seen, the veins on which work had been done are some 
6 feet in width. The gangue is quartz and carries arsenopyrite, 
pyrite, blende, galena, and stibnite. The ores are ground in Pied- 
montese mills and yield from 1 to 2 ounces gold and 4 to 5 ounces 
silver per ton. Similar veins were found in 1878 between Novaggio 
and Miglieglia, some 2h miles east of Astano. In the Monte Cenere 
gneiss in the north of Lugano, 2| miles from Tesserete in Val 
Capriasca, and on the eastern slope of Monte Beglio, is an auriferous 
lenticular pyritous lode, the lenses of which attain a maximum 
thickness of some 8 inches only. The pyrite and arsenopyrite of the 
vein, as well as the quartz, contain gold. 

Auriferous lollingite veins have been worked near Vernayaz 
at the foot of the Dent du Midi, Valais Canton. The deposit is in 

a Schmidt, C, Zeit, fur prakt, Geo!., 1903, p. 205. 

152 EUROPE. 

gneiss, but only a few yards from the contact with Permian sand- 
stones. It has a thickness in its richest portion of some 6 feet 
and a length of 150 to 300 feet. The gangue is mainly calcite, and 
the ore 1611ingite. a 

The Calanda auriferous veins, lying west of the Rhine Valley 
between Chur and Mayenfeld in the Grisons Canton, are perhaps the 
best known of the Swiss occurrences. The veins occur on the south- 
west end of the Calanda mountains, west of Felsberg. The lower 
part of the Dogger (Inferior Oolite) Beds is there developed as a 
quartzose, sericitic, and calcareous clay slate, about 50 feet thick. 
This bed is traversed by veins, stringers, and lenses of quartz and 
calcite, having no predominant direction of strike. The sandy slates 
of the series are impregnated with pyrite and arsenopyrite. Native 
gold is found in the veins as dust, or in fine dendritic aggregates and 
small octahedral crystals. These mines were especially productive 
from 1809 to 1813, and were again worked vigorously from 1856 to 
1861. The tenor of the ore is about \ ounce per ton (metric). The 
largest piece of free gold found weighed 4 ounces (125 grammes). 6 

Alluvial gold, apparently derived from the above or from 
similar occurrences, is found along the Rhine between Chur and 
Mayenfeld. The Aare was worked for gold between Olten and 
Klingnau, from 1834 to 1839, when the washers are said to have 
earned from 2 to 3 francs (Is. 8d. to 2s. 6d.) per day. 

Gold has been found in the Reuss and other tributaries of the 
Rhine, and in the Emmen, a tributary of the Aare, but nowhere do 
these deposits appear to be of present economic importance. 


The ancient gold mines and deposits of northern Piedmont are 
mentioned by Pliny c as lying near the village of the Ictimuli in the 
Vercellian territory. He refers to a decree forbidding the em- 
ployment of more than 5,000 slaves in these mines. The mines are 
mentioned also by Strabo, d who describes the friction that had 
arisen even in those days between the miners and the cultivators, 
the latter complaining of loss of water and of damage to the soil 
from the debris swept down the streams from the mines. 

In modern days all, or nearly all, the southward flowing 
tributaries of the Po carry alluvial gold in small grains and 
spangles. The principal streams are the Malone, Elvo, Oreo, Cervo, 

a Schmidt C, Handworterbuck der Schweiz. Volkwirtsch. Sozialpol. und Verwalt., 
Basel, 1907, p. 150. 

" Schmidt, C, loc. cit., p. 50. 

c Hist. Nat., Lib. XXXIII, 21. 

" Book IV, cap. vi., par. 7. 



Dorea-balta, Sesia, and Ticino, in Turin, and the Adda, Serio, and 
Oglio, in Milan. These are but little worked at the present time, 
although in 1894 a dredge was placed on the Ticino by a French 
company. It excavated during that year 1,100 cubic metres of 
gravel for 15-6 ounces (485 grammes), or 5 grains per cubic yard. 
Alluvial gold also occurs in the Orbo, and in the Val Corsente on the 
northern slopes of the Ligurian Apennines on the north of Genoa. 

Fig. 7o. Auriferous Occurrences of Piedmont, Northern' Italy. 

The auriferous veins of Italy lie mainly in the Western Alps, west 
and north-west of Lake Maggiore. The principal valleys are the 
Upper Sesia, Toppa, Anzasca, Antrona, and Antigorio. The fineness 
of the alluvial gold is about 920. a In these valleys the veins ordin- 
arily occur as thin pyritous seams in Permo-Carboniferous quartzites, 
mica-schists, and gneiss. 6 The gold occurs generally with the 
pyrite, and is rarely free. The associates of the auriferous pyrites 
are normally chalcopyrite, mispickel, grey copper-ore, galena, and 

a Jervis, " Dell 'Oro in Natura," Turin, 1881, pp. 68-71. 

" De Launay, Comptes Rend. Congres Geol. Internat., 1906, p. i>86. 



blende. The auriferous pyrite lodes in the Val Antrona, in the 
vicinity of Monte Rosa, show on analysis tenors of 1 6 to 20 dwts. 
(21 to 31 grammes) gold per ton, but of this only from | to 1 dwt. 
is recoverable by amalgamation." 

The two main districts are, however, those of Val Toppa and 
Pestarena. In the first locality Upper Palaeozoic talcose schists form 
the country, and through them straggle irregular pyritous bodies 
with many secondary ramifications. At Pestarena on the other 
hand, there are true veins disposed fanwise. Two have been dis- 
tinguished, dipping with the stratification of the mica-schists. Both 
are cut by a transverse vein and are enriched at the junctions. 

An English company has for many years carried on mining 
operations in the Anzasca valley, working mainly on the Peschiera 
lode at Pestarena. At Val Toppa the tenor of the ore is 9 dwts. per 
ton ; at Pestarena 11 dwts. per ton. Everywhere the gold occurs 
entirely in the pyrites, the quartz being barren. At Battiggio (Cani) 
veins occur in mica-schists, but after having been worked extensively, 
in the eighteenth century, these have now been abandoned owing to 
the large percentage of arsenic contained in them, and also owing to 
their low gold tenor. 

The veins of the Val d' Anzasca appear on the whole to have 
been the most productive of Italian gold mines in the past. The 
principal were those of Peschiera (Pestarena), and Cavone. The 
last reached its maximum production as long ago as 1790, when, 
in two years, some 23,000 gold was produced. b The name Pestarena 
is itself indicative of the great number of small Piedmontese crushing 
(pestare) mills in the neighbourhood. The annual production of these 
mines for the period immediately prior to 1827 was about 119 
metric pounds gold, worth, say, 17,810 (Lire 445,300), of which, 
however, only some 12 to 15 per cent, was profit. 

The Pestarena United Mines included Peschiera, Kint, Stabioli, 
Cani (Battiggio), and also Carboniera d' Alberto (Val Toppa). The 
value of the Peschiera bullion was 3. 8s. l|d., and its fineness 
754. Work on these mines was suspended in 1900. They had during 
the later years of operation produced as follows : c 

Long tons 

Crude Ounces 


Annual Profit 




or Loss. 

Oct., 1896, to 

Dec, 1897 




+ 10,551 
















a Lenicque, Bull, de la Soc. de 1' Indust. Min., May, 1907. 

& Fantonetti, " Le Miniere Metalliche dell'Ossole in Piemonte," Milan, 1830. 

c Ann. Reports Pestarena United Mines Company. 

I 'tnh IV 

Val de Ohallant. Piedmont, Italy. 

Val d'Anzasca, near Macugnaga, Piedmont. Italy. 



In the Val Antigorio the chief gold mine worked was Crodo. 
It was very productive during the last years of the eighteenth 
century, and is locally believed to have furnished the funds for the 
construction of the magnificent Marini Palace at Milan. In the Val 
Antrona, at Trivera and Alle Mi, refractory auriferous sulphide 
(arsenopyrite and pyrrhotite) veins occur. None of these mines were 
worked much earlier than the commencement of the nineteenth 
century. Numerous small veins exist high up on the spurs of 
Monte Rosa, and in the Val Moriana facing Pestarena, but are 
unworkable owing to the high transport costs. 

In the Val de Challant, a left-hand tributary valley of the 
Dorea Balta, is the Evancon mine, the only important gold mine 
working in Italy in 1908. It lies above Brusson, and comprises 
several widely separated veins, of which the Finnallaz is the chief. 
The veins cut transversely through gneiss and the overlying rocks, 
which are amphibolite and crystalline limestone, the whole series 
dipping sharply into the hiD. It is, however, only for the few 
hundred feet that the veins pass through the amphibolite members 
of the series that they are auriferous. Unlike the great majority of 
the Italian occurrences above-mentioned, the gold is free, is often 
crystallized, and occurs disseminated through clear quartz, in shoots 
and pockets, some of the latter being exceedingly rich in quality if 
small in extent." 

At Monte Loreto, east of Genoa, auriferous chalcopyrite occurs 
in a gangue of calcite and quartz. The gold liberated from the 
chalcopyrite has been found in the form of octahedral crystals. 
Masses of crystallized gold weighing several pounds are reported to 
have been obtained from these veins. 

It is estimated that since 1860 no less than 1,520,000 (38,000,000 
lire) have been spent on the Italian Alpine gold veins for a total 
return in gold of only 680,000 (17,000,000 lire). 

The gold production of Italy during recent years is shown in 
the following table : b 

* Estimated. 

"Schmidt, C, " Geologisches Gutachten iiber die goldfuhrenden Gange tei 
Brusson in Piemont," Bern, 1900. 

" Revista del Servizio Minerario nel 1900-1906. 

156 EUROPE. 


The metalliferous region of Eastern Servia lies south of the 
Danube and between the Morava and the Timok, both northward- 
flowing tributaries of the great river. The region is therefore the 
southerly continuation across the Danube of the Transylvanian 
Alps that connect the Carpathians and the Balkans ; it is in forcing a 
passage through these connecting ranges that the Danube has formed 
the famous gorge of the "Iron Gates." The highest mountains in 
Eastern Servia are the Stara Planina on the Bulgarian frontier, with 
a maximum height (in Midzor peak) of 7,106 feet. In the mineral 
region itself the mountains attain an altitude of some 4,000 feet, 
promising, therefore, from their streams and waterfalls an abundant 
supply of electrical power. 

Mining has been carried on in Servia from the most ancient times, 
and numerous legends have consequently gathered around the in- 
dustry. In this connection it is interesting to note the resemblance of 
one of these, accounting for the abandonment of the " Lakudin Beg " 
gold mine in the Pek Valley, to that advanced by the Tibetan 
miners for a similar sudden abandonment of goldfields." In the 
Servian variant the diggers found a magnificent golden plough, 
and : ' craignant une malediction d'en haut " 6 incontinently 
ceased work. There appear to have been two distinct periods in 
ancient Servian mining, Latin and Slav; of the former but few 
traces now remain. The latter is best denned by the coins and 
jewels occasionally met with in the placers. The ancient workings 
were shallow, owing probably to the lack of pumping facilities. 
With the advent of Saxon miners, circa 1244 a.d., the Servian 
mineral industry assumed considerable importance, and from thence 
onwards numerous references are made in the literature of the 
Middle Ages to the gold mines of Servia. During the northward 
extension of the Turkish arms in the fifteenth century, the miners 
were swept across the Danube before the Moslem hordes, and the 
history of the Servian mines was closed for four centuries. Mining 
operations were finally resumed in 1849. Old workings are especially 
numerous in the valleys of the Pek, Mlava, and Timok. 

The Stara Planina, the mountain range on the Servo-Bulgarian 
frontier, is composed mainly of metamorphic and crystalline schists, 
which stretch northward from Midzor peak to Golubac, Dobra, and 
Orsava on the Danube, with, however, a slight break in their con- 
tinuity near Zajecar. The metamorphic rocks and schists comprise 

a Maclaren, Min. Jour., June 22, 1907. 

Jovanoviteh, " Or et Cuivre de la Serbie Orientale," Paris, 1907. 

SERVIA. 157 

gneiss, amphibolite-schists, mica-schists, talc-schists, phyllites, and 
quartzites. Pala?ozoic rocks occur as two large areas to the west 
of the foregoing crystalline rocks, and are, in the main, slates, schists, 
and quartzites. Overlying these are Mesozoic beds Permo-Trias, 
Jurassic, and Neocomian. A great part of the region is covered 
by fossiliferous Cretaceous limestone. Tertiary deposits also bulk 
large between the Morava and the Timok. They represent 
Miocene deposits of the Mediterranean, Sarmatian, and Levantine 

Among the eruptive rocks are Archaean and Palaeozoic granites, 
granulites, porphyries, and porphyrites. Towards the close of 
the Mesozoic there appeared euphotides, peridotites, diorites, 
diabases, and lamprophyres. These basic intrusions ceased before 
the Tertiary period, which is characterised (as in the auriferous 
regions of Transylvania) by the appearance of andesites, dacites, and 
trachytes, closely connected, especially the first, with the mineral filling 
of the veins, which is probably of Miocene age. Andesitic rock is the 
country of the veins of Bor, Krivelj, Metovonica, Zlot, and Savinac. 
The gold-quartz veins of Deli-Jovan, although the country is serpen- 
tinous, owe their gold to andesite, and where this rock is absent 
there also is mineralisation absent. At Majdanpek and Kucajna 
andesite occupies an equally important place. The auriferous 
minerals of the former mines are quartz, galena, pyrite, blende, and 
chalcopyrite, while at the latter place, where andesite is intrusive 
through limestone, masses of auriferous galena have been deposited 
along the contacts. Similar relations exist at Ridang, on the Danube 
north of Kucajna, and also to the south-west in the districts of 
Bistrica and Breznica. In short, in all the places distinguished by 
the presence of chalcopyrite, galena, blende, or pyrite, with or without 
gold, andesites are the enclosing rocks, or are found in the immediate 
neighbourhood. It is from the degradation of these and similar 
pyritous veins that the alluvial deposits have derived their gold 

Native amalgam, often accompanied by cinnabar, is found by 
the native washers. It occurs in light-grey, rounded grains, and is 
known as " zivak." Its composition appears to be : Hg, 30-96 per 
cent. ; Au, 55-81 per cent. ; Ag, 13-23 per cent. 

According to Jovanovitch, the alluvial gold (a) from andesitic 
quartz veins contains very little silver ; (b) from serpentine (eupho- 
tide) contains 8 to 10 per cent, silver ; (c) from the crystalline schists 
contains as much as 30 per cent, silver results which certainly do 
not accord with experience in other parts of the world. The alluvial 
gold, as a rule, is very fine in grain ; but from Gindusa slugs as large 
as a hazel nut have been obtained ; while at Crista-Pucina in 1886, 

158 EUROPE. 

a labourer working in his field found a nugget 7 ounces (218 grammes) 
in weight. Numerous pepites occur in the washings of Deli-Jovan 
and of the Pek river. In the veins, and especially in those in the 
mica-schist, gold is always absent when pyrite and chalcopyrite 
are lacking. These minerals occur either in pockets or disseminated 
throughout the quartz and country. In pyritous veins it seems fairly 
well established that the gold content diminishes with increasing 
depth. The Wilfley table concentrates (sulphides) of the St. Anne 
(Deli-Jovan) mine average from 2 to 3 ounces gold per ton. Chalco- 
pyrite itself carries from 2 to 15 dwts. gold per ton. Arsenical 
pyrites and galena also carry gold. Galena is encountered more 
frequently in the metamorphic rocks than in the andesite. Its 
tenor ranges from lh to 20 dwts. in gold. 

Kueajna Mines. These lie on a mineral concession of 160 
hectares (395-3 acres) to which are added subsidiary concessions. 
Explorations were commenced here in 1862. The mines at first 
promised to be successful, but collapse came when an unfortunate 
fire destroyed the surface works. The gold-quartz veins carry 
galena, blende, and pyrite. They have been followed to a depth of 
320 feet below the surface. From 1873 to 1892 work has been carried 
on spasmodically. During eight years only of this period was smelt- 
ing effected, and then not continuously. Nevertheless, the veins 
have produced 267' 133 metric tons lead, 139-4 metric tons zinc, 
41,566 ounces silver, and 2,005 ounces gold. The thickness of the 
veins is extremely variable, ranging from 6 inches to 5 feet. 

St. Barbc Mines (Blagojev-Kamen). These are on the upper 
valleys of the Pek, between Neresnica and Majdanpek. The region 
is well wooded, and contains old workings which at the St. Barbe 
mines cover 1,250 acres. The gold-quartz veins contain pyrite, 
chalcopyrite, and galena, giving occasionally very high assays. 
Work on this concession has as yet been purely exploratory ; never- 
theless, according to Jovanovitch, a they have shown that there are 
nearly 600,000 tons of ore available for exploitation. 

St. Anne Mines (Deli-Jovan). Numerous old workings occur 
here, and it was from here also that the nugget of 7 ounces weight 
already mentioned was obtained. The country is serpentine 
(euphotide), and comprises the massif of Deli-Jovan. The 
minerals in the veins are the same as those of the foregoing mines. 
The pyrites when concentrated may carry as much as 1J to 6f 
ounces of gold. From the shafts and levels on this property many 
thousands of tons of ore have been extracted. In 1900 a trial parcel 
of 97-876 metric tons of concentrates was sent to Kremnitz 

a Loc. cit. sup. 



(Hungary) ; from it were extracted 332 ounces of gold and 626 
ounces silver. 

Alluvial Deposits. The Pek river carries alluvial gold from 
its source to its mouth, but from the time it leaves the Kucevska 
defile until it reaches the Danube the gold is too widely scattered 
over the broad valley to be of economic importance. Even on the 
shores of the Danube the sands are faintly auriferous. The chief 
dredging area on the Pek river lies in the broad valley-plain between 
Kucevo and Neresnica. At the latter place, " La Societe d'Exploita- 
tions Minieres," of Brussels (formerly the Servian Dredging and 
Mining Syndicate, of London), had in 1906 three dredgers working. 
Prospecting with Keystone drills in this area gave over a total 
length of 650 yards an average tenor of 13i grains per cubic yard. 
Working results have, however, been as follows : 

Dredge No. 1. 





Hours of 








Hours of 



per Month 



per Hour 

Value of 

per Cubic 












Dredge No. 2. 





Hours of 









Hours of 



per Month 



per Hour 

Value of 


per Cubic 








2 4 




From March 21st to December 31st, 1906, the results were still 
lower, but the three dredgers were then engaged in cutting a 
channel through barren ground to reach better gravels. Neverthe- 
less, the three dredges returned : 






Yards per 




Value of Gravel 


Cubic Yard. 



63 3 





The Bela-Reka auriferous alluvials have a total thickness of 
some 10 to 13 feet, but of this only about 2| feet are really productive. 
The overlying barren sands are from 3 to 4 feet thick. The value 
appears to be about 8 grains per cubic yard (1-34 francs per cubic 



In the lower Timok valley the gravels have much the same 
thickness and disposition as in the Bela-Reka, but their value is 
slightly less viz., about 6| grains per cubic yard. The upper 
Timok has been examined by M. D. Levat, who found the valley 
very broad in places, reaching a maximum width of 660 yards. Of 
53 bores put down none proved barren, and the average value was 
stated to be 12 \ grains per cubic yard (1 92 francs per cubic metre). 
This result was considered to be sufficiently encouraging to proceed 
with the erection of dredges on the Timok river. 

The gold production of Servia during the present century has 
been : 

Kg. Fine Gold. 

Value in Francs. 

Value, Sterling. 


























Ancient writers make occasional references to the gold of the 
region now known as Turkey-in-Europe. Strabo mentions gold 
placers on the east of the Strymonic Gulf (mod. Orphani), near 
Mount Pangaeus. These were worked by Philip of Macedon in 
358 B.C. Herodotus also describes these gold occurrences as lying 
on the Thracian coast opposite Thasos, while he refers to the 
island of Thasos as being itself auriferous. The auriferous 
country of the mainland lay between the Strymon (Struma) and 
Nestus (Mesta Kara Su) rivers, both flowing into the iEgean Sea, 
north and west respectively of the island of Thasos. Nothing, 
however, is known at the present day of the economic possibilities 
of these placers of the ancients. 

The Turkish Empire during the years 1902-1904 is believed to 
have produced in gold the following : 

Fine Ounces. 

Value, Sterling. 






TURKEY. 161 

All this must be regarded as having been derived from the 
Bulgar Ma'aden mines in Asia Minor, and not from Turkey- 


Native gold is not recovered in Greece at the present day. It 
has been found, nevertheless, in alluvial deposits near the town of 
Skyros in the island of the same name ; in the vicinity of the village 
of Doliana (Arcadia) in small quantity in pyritiferous veins ; 
and also with silver in the argentiferous galena of the famous mines 
of Laurium. The ancient Greeks worked gold mines in the islands 
of Cyprus and of Siphanto (Siphnos) in the Cyclades group. 
Reference is made to these placer deposits both by Pausanias" 
and Herodotus. h 


Gold occurs in very small quantities in the river sands of the 
Juil, Oltul, Argesul, Bistritza, and their mountain affluents. The 
Bistritza rises in the Rodna mountains in Eastern Hungary, flows 
through the south corner of Bukowina, and thence through Moldavia 
to join the Danube. Its gold has doubtless been derived from 
auriferous veins in andesite, similar to those of Nagybanya. 
Gold-quartz veins are, moreover, known in the portion of the 
Carpathians through which the Upper Bistritza flows. 


Bohemia. The gold mines of Eule-Jilova, 10 miles south of 
Prague, between the valleys of the Sazava and the Libre, were 
being worked in 734 a.d. They are said to have yielded in one 
year 1| million ducats gold, and again in 1145 a.d. to have pro- 
duced more than a ton of pure metal. The Borkowitz mines in the 
Kuttenberg district are also worked for gold. 

The pyritous gold- veins of Mount Roudny, the only gold mine 
of present importance in Bohemia, lie 9i miles east of Wotitz and 37 
miles south-south-west of Prague. They have recently been 
re-opened by a British company after an abandonment of nearly 
a century, having previously been worked intermittently from 
the fourteenth century to 1804. The country of the veins 
is a grey biotite-granite, which becomes gneissose in places, 

a Lib., X., cap. XI. 

b I, 225, Thalia III, 57. 

c Poni, Ann. Sci. de l'Univ. de Jassy, I, 1900, p. 145. 

162 EUROPE. 

and which is associated with amphibolite. Both granite and 
amphibolite are traversed by aplitic dykes. The rocks are 
crossed by a system of east and west pyritous fissures, only 
a few inches in thickness. The adjacent country is also im- 
pregnated with pyrite. The gold usually occurs associated with the 
pyrite, but is also found native, either finely divided in the quartz, 
or as flakes and crystals in the veinlets. The thinnest veins are the 
richest, and finely crystallized pyrites contains more gold than the 
coarsely crystallized. The amphibolites contain little or no gold. 
Auriferous deposition and alteration of the granite walls preceded 
the formation of the aplitic dykes/ 1 In 1906 the Mount Roudny 
mines crushed 32,985 tons ore for a yield of 3,977-5 ounces 
(123- 9 kg.), worth 16,882.^ Other minor gold occurrences of 
similar character in Bohemia are fully described by Posepny. c 

In Southern Bohemia gold-quartz veins occur in gneiss, mica- 
schist, chlorite-schist, and greenstone. The quartz of the Kasejo- 
witz (Kasejovic) veins is white and clean, with visible grains of a 
gold-telluride mineral resembling nagyagite, from which the free 
gold of the vein has originated. Assays have shown tenors of 
from f to 2| ounces gold per metric ton. The veins appear 
to be at the contact of the gneiss with granite apophyses. 
With the quartz is associated auriferous arsenical pyrites 
and gold-tellurides (nagyagite, petzite, and sylvanite).'^ 
North-north-west of the town of Wolin are the Na Zlatnici 
veins, worked in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. These 
also are at granite and gneiss contacts. Similar veins are known at 
other places in the neighbourhood. The Otava river gravels carry 
an average tenor of 2 grains per cubic yard (17 mg. per cubic 
metre), a tenor, of course, too small for profit. 

Austrian Silesia. The earliest record of gold-mining in 
Austrian Silesia is dated 1556 a.d., and the positions of many of the 
mines then worked are still known. These lie in the Hohenberg and 
Oelberg mountains at and in the vicinity of Wurbenthal, Engelsberg, 
and Freiwaldau, all in the north-west of the province. The lodes 
are in clay-slates that are associated with chlorite-schist, quartzose 
schist, and diorite, the whole series resting on Archaean gneiss. 
The veinstone is quartz, and carries pyrite and galena. The value 
of the richer ore varies from 17 to 36 dwts. per ton. All the streams 

a Krusch, Zeit. der deutsch geol. Gesellsch., 1902, LIV, p. 58. 

h Forbes, Cons. Rep., 1908. 

c Archiv. fur prakt. Geol., II, 1895, p. 79. 

d Holy, Oesterr. Zeit. fur Berg- und Hutt., April 4, 1908, p. 1. 

e Zelizko, Zeit. fur prakt. Geol., XVI, 1908, p. (53. 


flowing from the Hohenberg and Oelberg mountains, and more 
especially the Oppa and Biela, contain small quantities of gold." 

Tyrol. Gold-mining in the eastern Tyrol is believed to date 
from 1427 a.d. The well-known Heinzenberg mines near Zell in 
the Ziller Thai were opened up some 12 years later, but were not 
extensively worked until 1628. In 1630 rich alluvial deposits and 
quartz-veins were found. The apportionment of the prospective 
profits from these deposits nearly led to war between the 
owners, the Archduke Leopold of Austria and the Archbishop 
of Salzburg. The gold tenor of the veins was then from 
1 to 2 ounces per ton. The upper oxidised zones were rich 
and were easily mined and milled, but in depth the free 
gold was replaced by refractory auriferous arsenical pyrites, 
from which the gold was obtained with great difficulty. In 
1681 some 400 workmen were employed, and quantities of quartz 
of a tenor of 107 ounces per ton were being obtained. In the 
eighteenth century the yield steadily declined, and from 1794 to the 
year 1869, when the Heinzenberg (Vincenzi) mines were finally 
closed down owing to an inrush of water, the annual yield had been 
only some 150 to 160 ounces. The veins lie in mica-schists, phyllites, 
and talc-schists. They are numerous but low-grade, and vary in 
thickness from a few inches to 36 feet. 6 Alluvial gold has been 
found along the gravels of the Wipp Thai from the Brenner Pass 
to Innsbruck. 

Salzburg. The gold mines of theLungau Tauern chain lie on its 
northern flanks at Schellgaden, some four miles east of St. Michael, 
and on the northern side of the upper Mur Thai. Topographically 
and geologically, the country is a continuation of the Hohe Tauern. 
The veins were extensively worked in past centuries, but have been 
neglected in recent years. They are essentially small quartz- 
lenses in a hornblende-mica-schist that passes with increase of 
felspar to a gneissic rock. The lenses are disposed along a zone 
after the manner of quartz-lenses in schists, each lens tending to 
overlap its successor. The maximum thickness and length of the 
lenses appears to be 6 feet and 185 feet respectively. Working in 
the winter is rendered difficult, and at times impossible, by the 
avalanches to which the higher valleys and mountain slopes are 
subject. The ores are highly pyritous, containing pyrite, chalco- 
pyrite, and galena, with rare blende. The tenor of the ore during 

a Lowag, Oesterr. Zeit. fur Berg- und Hiitt., 1901, XLIX, p. 415. 

b Schmitt, Berg- und Hutt. Zeit., 1868, p. 11 ; Wolfskron, Oesterr. Zeit. fur Berg- 
und Hutt., XLIII, 1S95, p. 349. 

c Beyschlag, Zeit. fur prakt. Geol., 1S97, p. 210. 

164 EUROPE. 

the last 30 years (1789-1818) of active working was in gold 5 dwts. 
(9-2 grams.), and in silver 5 dwts. (8-9 grams.) per metric ton. ft 
Elsewhere in Salzburg gold has been obtained from the marls of 
Gastein in the Gastein Thai, where it is associated with magnetite 
and garnet ; from pyritous veins in gneiss at Bockstein in the same 
valley ; from similar veins in the Rauris Thai and Fusch Thai ; 
and from the neighbourhood of Zell. 

Carinthia. The formerly important gold-mines of Lengholz, 
near Steinfeld, and of Siflitz, near Lind, were discovered about 1660. 
They lie in the Drauthal, near Sachsenburg. Their veins are in 
mica-schist and gneiss. Recent explorations at Lengholz showed 
the old workings to have been driven on a brecciated vein cemented 
by calcite and carrying magnetite and chalcopyrite, together with 
a little mispickel. The magnetite on assay carried 6 J dwts. of gold 
and silver per ton. The Siflitz region lies north-east of Lind. Its 
gold-quartz veins occur in phyllite and biotite-mica-schist, and carry 
a large percentage of pyrites. The adjacent schists also are im- 
pregnated with pyrites. Free gold is found in the veins. 6 Auriferous 
gravels were formerly worked in Carinthia. Extensive remains 
of ancient washings are found at Weisenau, in the Lavant Thai in 
the east of the province. These appear to have been worked 
only spasmodically since 1757. Numerous heaps of pebbles and 
boulders testify to former activity. At Tragni, near Paternion, 
auriferous gravels were formerly worked by shafts and levels. 
The deposits of the Lieser Thai are less extensive than those of 
the two foregoing localities, though gold-washing in the Lieser 
Thai is possibly -of greater antiquity, since it is believed to date 
from the fourteenth century, and was, indeed, the subject of 
numerous edicts during the sixteenth century. Remains of ancient 
washings are disposed along the valley, principally between Gmiind 
and Spittal. 

The veins of the Hohe Tauern mountains on the slopes of the 
upper valleys of the Moll, in the extreme north-west corner of 
Carinthia, were undoubtedly worked in Roman times. They appear 
to have reached a period of maximum production during the six- 
teenth century. The country in the neighbourhood of the veins is a 
complex of Archaean rocks made up of the gneisses and schists of 
the Central Alps. The schists are micaceous, chloritic, and cal- 
careous. They are traversed by extremely thin quartz veins that 
carry gold, both free and associated with pyrite. The sulphides 
present are pyrite, chalcopyrite, arsenopyrite, blende, galena, 

a Posepny, Archiv. fur prakt. Geol., I, 1879, p. 155. 

h Canaval, Zeit. fur prakt. Geol., IX, 1901, p. 425. 

c Canaval, Archiv. fur prakt. Geol., Freiberg in Sacks., II, 1895, p. 599. 


silver sulphides, and occasional molybdenite. Associated with the 
veinlets of the Hohe Tauern are auriferous and pyritous 
impregnations of the adjacent rock walls, the whole forming 
well-defined lode-channels. One such the Seiglitz-Pockhart has 
been traced for nearly 4 miles along its strike. It carries gold only 
in the schists, becoming barren on passing into the gneiss. The 
principal occurrences are on the southern slopes of the Hohe Tauern, 
in the Moll, Fleiss, and Zirknitz valleys. The Kloben and Gutthal 
mines in the Moll valley lie at an altitude of 9,400 feet above sea- 
level. Very rich pockets were found in the Rathhausberg mines in 
this vicinity, in the first half of the eighteenth century. The pockets 
lay at a depth of 1,300 feet below the surface, and were therefore 
well within the sulphide zone. The tenor of the ore worked in the 
two principal mines of the Hohe Tauern, viz., the Rathhaus and the 
Rauris, has steadily fallen from If ounces in the first half of the 
seventeenth century to 8 dwts. in the beginning of the nineteenth 
century. The Rauris mines were especially productive from 1562 
to 1579. The distribution of gold in the most recent workings is 
extremely capricious, and the yield of the whole group is, at the 
present time, unimportant/* 

Bosnia. As isolated historical records indicate, the gold 
industry of Bosnia was' in former times of some considerable value 
to the Romans. 6 It was practically confined to working the 
extensive placer deposits, which are both Recent and Pleistocene. 
Some of the latter are quite 600 feet above the present valley-level, 
especially on the slopes of the Fojnica valley. In the alluvium of the 
valleys of the Urbas, Lasva, Fojnica, and Zeleznica, traces of 
the old workings can still be seen, in the form of huge boulder 
heaps or prospecting and mining pits. Similar traces of former 
mining activity are found in the mountains, in the portion of these 
old allu vials that lies above Fojnica in the Vranitza mountains. 
Lode-mining was carried on at one spot, namely, in the decomposed 
pyritous mass of Cervenika, north-west *of the town of Fojnica. 
Further, there are, in the Vranitza mountains, numerous traces of 
ancient fruitless prospecting in slates and quartz-porphyry. 

The origin of the old workings is to some extent known. 
They date from the fifth century B.C., and were made by the 
ancient IUyrians, who, from their knowledge gained in this work, 
became, after the Roman occupation (78 B.C.), the best miners the 
Romans possessed. Old Roman coins, inscriptions, tombs, and 
towers have been found in the immediate neighbourhood of the 
old workings. In the Biela valley the foundations of an old Roman 

a Kruscli, Zeit. fur prakt. Geol., 1897, p. 77. 

" Riicker, " Einiges iiber das Gold Vorkommen in Bosnien," Vienna, 1896. 



furnace have been exposed. There are also old aqueducts in the 
neighbourhood of Fojnica. The well-defined workings in the 
alluvial at Bistrica, Gornj-Vakuv, Kresevo, and Fojnica may date 
from the Middle Ages. To this period Riicker also ascribes the 
workings in the pyrites-mass of Cervenika. From the great exten- 
sion of the ancient mining works Riicker concludes that Bosnia 
was a country once rich in gold. 

Recent tests in the alluvium of the Urbas showed the average 
tenor in gold to be 10 grains per metric ton ; in the Bistrica it 
ranges from -6 grain to 31 grains; and in the neighbourhood of 
Lasva from 6 grain to 23 grains, the whole averaging 4 grains per 
metric ton. The presence of gold in the sands of the Narenta, 
Rama, and Neretvica streams has also been determined. The 
source of the alluvial gold is doubtless in the Lower Triassic rocks 
(Bunt-sandstein), which, as near Djelilovac, carry tenors of 2| grains 
gold per metric ton. 

The sandstones are themselves secondary deposits, and the 
primary deposit appears to be that already mentioned, the Palaeo- 
zoic pyritous slates of Cervenika. Two quartz-veins near Vilenisa 
and Heldovi, not far from Travnik, carrying haematite and 
pyrite, gave an average on assay of 14 dwts. and 10 dwts. gold 
per metric ton respectively. Gold occurrences are also known in 
the ferruginous beds of Varosluk, south of Lisac, and also in quartz 
veins west of Cehovac, in the Lasva region. a 

The gold production of Austria alone (not including Hungary) 
during 1900 and the years of the present century, has been : h 

Metric Tons 


Also produced at 
Metallurgical Works. 




Fine Gold. 

Value, Sterling. 

1907 c 































17,202 8 


a Foullon, Jahrb. d.k.k. geol. Reichanst., XLII, 1892, pp. 1-52 ; Katzer, Oesterr. 
Zeit. fur Berg- und Hiitt., XLIX, 1901, pp. 277-280. 

Statistisclies Jahrbucli des k.k. Ackerbau-Ministeriums, Vienna, 1801-1807. 

f Oesterr. Statist, des Berg., 1907. 



Three well-defined auriferous districts are known in 
Hungary. Two of these are of comparatively little importance. 
The third, in Transylvania, is the chief gold-producing district of 
Europe. Of the two former, one lies to the north of Buda-Pesth 
in the neighbourhood of Schemnitz (Selmeczbanya) and Kremnitz 
(Kormoczbanya), and the other in Eastern Hungary, near the Galician 
frontier. The Schemnitz and Kremnitz mines are among the 
oldest in Central Europe, and date probably from the commence- 
ment of the Christian Era. They passed into the possession of the 
Slavs in 745 a.d. The Schemnitz mines in 1690 produced 16,984 
ounces of gold, while the production of precious metals from 1740 
to 1773 is estimated at at least 70,000,000 gulden. In 1881 the annual 
production of gold was about 16,000 ounces ; ten years later it had 
fallen to 14,000 ounces. According to B6ckh, a the oldest formation 
in the neighbourhood of Schemnitz is a Triassic slate through which 
diorites are intrusive as dykes and stocks that have altered the 
slates to mica-schists and hornstones along their contacts. Inter- 
bedded with the slates is a limestone. Nummulitic Eocene shales 
overlie the Triassic beds. During the Lower and Upper Mediter- 
ranean stages widespread volcanic eruptions here, as in Transyl- 
vania, furnished tuffs and lavas of an andesitic facies. The sequence 
of volcanic rocks has apparently been pyroxene-andesite, diorite 
and quartz-diorite, andesite, and finally rhyolite. Later, in the 
Pliocene period, basaltic eruptions occurred. The rhyolites are 
the most widely-developed rocks, and display glassy, perlitic, and 
pumiceous varieties. In the vicinity of the ore-bodies the volcanic 
rocks have undergone the usual propylitic (grunsteinartig) meta- 
morphosis, are in places highly silicified, and always carry a high 
percentage of pyrites. The lodes of Schemnitz occur in andesite 
and rhyolite, and, to lesser extent, in diorite, while to the south- 
west they pass out of the volcanic rocks into Miocene strata. They 
are numerous and are characterised by great width. They have 
no well-defined walls, but often enclose large irregular fragments of 
country, in which case the ore occurs as the cementing material of 
the breccia. The usual gangue is quartz, but with it are associated 
calcite, brownspar, rhodochrosite, siderite, barytes, and gypsum. 
The sulphides present are galena, blende, chalcopyrite, and auri- 
ferous pyrite. These occur disseminated through a jasperoid quartz 
locally termed zinopel, which probably owes its red colour to the 
presence of iron-oxides. Silver sulphides are also common. Free 
gold is met with, more particularly in the zinopel. The principal 

a Foldtani Kozloni, XXXI, 1901. 

168 EUROPE. 

lodes are the Griiner and the Spital. The former has been traced for 
a distance of nearly a mile. It varies in width from 6J to 39 feet 
(2 to 12 m.). Its course is north-east and its dip south-east at 70 
to 80. The greater part of the ore-body is made up of rhyolitic 
breccia, highly impregnated with pyrites and traversed by quartz 
veinlets containing galena and silver sulphides. The richer ore 
occurs in shoots that pitch south-west in the vein, and are rarely 
more than 130 feet in width ; between the pay-shoots the ore is 
very low in grade. The Spital lode is even larger than the Griiner. 
It has been traced for 4-8 miles (8 km.), and may have a total 
length of 7 miles (12 km.). The lode is made up of a complex 
system of veins and stringers that on union may give a total 
working width of 16 feet (5 m.). The width of the lode-channel 
reaches a maximum of 120 feet. The vein-stone is mainly quartz 
associated with rhodochrosite, calcite, brownspar, and barytes. 
The ore is auriferous, being argentiferous galena, blende, chalco- 
pyrite, and pyrite, with a little free gold and occasional grains of 

At Kremnitz (Kormoczbanya), 18 miles north of Schemnitz, 
the lodes are similar to those of the latter place, and lie in ande- 
sitic (propylitic) and trachytic rocks. Two main lode-groups are 
known, in each of which the propylite rock is traversed by a complex- 
network or stockwerk of veinlets and stringers. The stockwerks 
extend for a mile in length and for half a mile in width. The country 
is impregnated with finely disseminated pyrites, which increases in 
quantity on approach to the veins and fissures. In addition to 
the sulphides noted at Schemnitz, stibnite occurs in the ore at 
Kremnitz. In the Georg-Sigmund group, two defined lodes 
(Lettengang and Georg-Sigmund) may be made out. At 
Hodritsch auriferous lodes occur in a diorite highly impregnated 
with pyrites. 

Nagybanya. In Eastern Hungary, near the Galician frontier, 
is situated the Nagybanya group of mining districts, including 
Nagybanya, Felsobanya, Kapnikbanya, Laposbanya, Borpatak, 
and Olah Laposbanya. Mining in this district dates back for 
very nearly 1,000 years, the oldest record extant of the 
Nagybanya mines appearing in 1086 a.d. The veins are 
in quartz-trachyte and andesite rocks that are intrusive 
through Tertiary strata. The chief lode in Nagybanya is the 
Kreuzberg, striking north and south, and dipping west 70 
to 80. It varies in thickness from 2 to 6 feet. It is without well- 
defined walls. The gangue is quartz, through which auriferous 
pyrite and chalcopyrite with pyrargyrite and argentiferous fahlore 

a Skewes, Min. Sci. Press., Jan. 11, 1908, p. 66. 


are disseminated. The walls of the veins are often well silicified. 
Felsobanya lies a few miles east of Nagybanya. Its lodes are in simi- 
lar rocks. They are irregular in strike and dip, and vary in thickness 
from 1 to 72 feet, being, in the latter case, rather lode-channels than 
lodes. The cementing material is quartz containing pyrites, with 
which are often associated realgar, stibnite, blende, chalcopyrite, and 
argentite ; carbonate and sulphate of lime, barium, and iron are 
abundant. At Kapnikbanya, still further east, the lodes occur 
in a conglomerate that lies at the junction of propylite and gray 
trachyte. The vein-stone and general characteristics of the lodes 
are similar to those of Felsobanya. Large vughs are found in the 
Kapnik lodes, and are often drusy with crystallized minerals. 

Transylvania. The auriferous deposits of Transylvania lie 
in the south-eastern portion of the Bihar mountains. Both geo- 
graphically and geologically the boundaries of the region are sharply 
defined ; in the north by the valley of the Aranyos, on the east and 
south by the Maros, and on the north-west by the White (Feher) 
Koros. On the south-west the geographical and geological boun- 
daries are not distinct. An irregular quadrangle enclosed by 
lines drawn from Offenbanya to Korosbanya, from Korosbanya 
to Nagyag, from Nagyag to Zalatna, and from Zalatna to Offen- 
banya, will enclose nearly all the Transylvanian gold mines. 

Of the early history of the gold workings of this region we have 
but little definite information, but it is certain that before the time 
of the Emperor Trajan the Romans had already carried on exten- 
sive work on the gold veins. Even at the present day the remains 
of their quarries and levels may be traced without difficulty, and 
are at times of a magnitude so great as to excite astonishment in 
the mind of the modern engineer. Numerous legends have grown 
up and are even now current in the country concerning the dis- 
covery or the production of the more famous deposits. It is related, 
for example, that the rich veins of Nagyag were discovered through 
the instrumentality of an Armenian who declared that he had seen 
an ignis fatuus hovering over the outcrop of the fissure. After 
several years of fruitless working on this spot the gold- tellu ride veins 
that have rendered the Nagyag field so famous were eventually 

The fundamental rocks of the region are Archaean. These 
are probably to be correlated with the mass of the Bihar mountains 
on the north, and with the rocks of the spurs of the Transylvanian 
Alps across the Maros on the south. The Archaean rocks are well 
exposed in the north-east, and in the region near Offenbanya 
where they occur as gneiss, mica-schist, and limestone. Near 
Toplicza and Vormaja in the south, minor exposures of Archa?an 



phyllites are found. Overlying the Archaean rocks are widespread 
Jurassic strata (Klippenkalk or Stramberger Kalk), with which is 
associated an apparently contemporaneous melaphyre. These rocks 
are well developed throughout the Erzgebirge. By far the greater 
part of the surface of the region is formed by Carpathian (Creta- 

5 k\\\\\\\\Y 

Fig. 76. Generalized Sketch Map of the Geology of the Tkansylvanian Auriferous Region. 

1. Archaean schist and gneiss. 2. Melaphyre and Jurassic limestone. 3. Carpathian sandstone. 
4. Tertiary sediments and tuffs. 5. Tertiary eruptive rocks. 

ceous) sandstones. Through all these rocks there were erupted in 
Tertiary times the andesites, dacites, trachytes, and allied rocks 
(both as tuffs and as solid flows) that have been so closely con- 
nected with the genesis of the auriferous deposits. The general 


disposition of the foregoing beds is shown on the accompanying 
geological sketch map (Fig. 76). From it the predominance at 
the surface of the Cretaceous and Jurassic rocks will be apparent. 
In describing the various more or less isolated Transylvanian 
goldfields those in the north-east will be first taken, followed by 
those occurring in successive order to the south-west. 

Offenbanya. At Offenbanya, situated on the Aranyos river 
in the extreme north-east of the auriferous region, the 
Tertiary eruptives rest on garnet- and staurolite-bearing mica- 
schists. In former days crystalline limestone adjacent to the 
igneous rocks carried rich pockets of gold, but these have 
long been exhausted. The particular country of the gold veins 
is a propylitised dacite. To the west and south of the propyli- 
tised area there occurs a normal unaltered dacite, while on the 
margin of the quartz-bearing andesites (dacites) are developed 
the hornblende-andesite of the Coltului Lazar, Piatra Capri, and 
Cartia Carolu mountains. The productive mines lie entirely 
beneath the Dialu Ambrului and Dialu Wunet mountains. The 
oldest and the most extensive workings lie in the Valea Boji, branch- 
ing off from the interior of the Segengott Level, which commences 
in the mica-schist, passes through a breccia of mica-schist and dacite 
fragments, and finally enters the propylitised dacite. Owing to 
the closing of the older levels the relations of the auriferous deposits 
to the enclosing country are not now very clear. The mica-schist 
never carries auriferous veins, and these are found here either 
in dacite or as stockwerk replacements in crystalline limestone. 
The veins, however occurring, are always very thin. They have 
been divided by Semper, according to the vein-filling, as follows : 

(1) In the south (Franzisci) area : Native gold veins. 

(2) In the central area : Native gold and gold-telluride veins. 

(3) In the south : Telluride veins. 

The gold-veins of the first group were not known in the upper 
levels, and were first met with in the contact-breccia between the 
mica-schist and the dacite. Their vein-filling is pyritous quartz 
carrying free gold in wires, plates, and strings. The pyrite of the 
adjacent country is also more or less auriferous. 

The boundary between the gold veins and the gold-telluride 
veins is a brecciated fissure (the Widersinnige Kluft) that crosses the 
veins. The gold veins are developed on the foot-wall, the gold- 
telluride veins on the hanging- wall of the fissure. The matrix of the 
latter veins is quartz with occasional calcite, containing tetrahedrite, 
free gold, and telluride ores ; as a rule, the gold-telluride ores are not 
of high tenor. The third, or telluride type of veins, comprises five main 
lodes, and a network of smaller veinlets. The latter are exceedingly 

172 EUROPE. 

thin, and carry gold tellurides (sylvanite and nagyagite), accompanied 
by blende, bournonite, tetrahedrite, and pyrargyrite. The matrix 
is quartz, calcite, and rhodochrosite. 

At the contact of the limestone and the dacite, ore-bodies 
occur in cavities within the limestone. The gangue is here a brec- 
ciated rock carrying auriferous pyrite, argentiferous galena, arseno- 
pyrite, &c. In these limestones numerous traces remain of former 
activity in mining. The general outstanding feature of the gold 
veins of Offenbanya is the diminution in the tenor of the ore-bodies 
with increase in depth. 

Verespatak. The village of Verespatak lies about 6 miles north- 
east of Abrudbanya in the upper Valea Rosia valley, which is bounded 
on the north-east and on the south-east by ranges of high andesitic 
mountains, on the south by the greater and lesser Kirnik and the 
Boj mountains, and finally on the west by mountain ridges of the 
Carpathian sandstones. The Verespatak complex is composed of 
several successive Tertiary eruptions that have broken through the 
Carpathian sandstones and have formed mountain peaks and ranges. 
The important mines of the region lie in the eruptive rocks of the 
greater and lesser Kirnik and of the Boj. These rocks are pene- 
trated by the Orlau level, the mouth of which is in the Valea Rosia 
valley, about 1 J miles west of the auriferous veins. Eastward from 
the mouth the tunnel passes through 2,328 feet (710 m.) of Car- 
pathian sandstones, then through 5,445 feet (1,660 m.) of the Tertiary 
conglomerates, termed by Posepny the " Local Sediments," and 
finally through 1,738 feet (530 m.) of a second band of Carpathian 
sandstone. From this tunnel the principal mines have been worked. 
To the north of it the Orlau cross-cut was driven in the Local 
Sediments until beneath the andesite of the Gypele mountain. 
To the south, the dacite of Boj was met with ; this rock in its eastern 
portion carried one of the most famous of the stockwerks of Veres- 
patak (the Katroneza). The eruptive rocks, though differing con- 
siderably in local characters, are apparently nevertheless all products 
of differentiation from a single dacite magma. Rhyolites with a pumi- 
ceous ground-mass form the cementing material of the breccias of the 
summit of Boj and also of those found in the east of the Katroneza 
level. In the Csetatye cross-cut the rhyolite appears as the grey 
cementing material of a breccia that is largely made up of fragments 
of Carpathian sandstone, Archaean rock, dacite, and white rhyolite. 
The Local Sediments filling the real valley basin of Verespatak, 
and occurring also in the Korna stream to the south of the Kirnik 
mountains, show distinct stratification. They are composed partly 
of conglomerate and partly of soft clayey cementing matter enclosing 
scattered blocks of the older rocks. The sediments are in many 
places overlain by dacite. 


Closely akin to the Lower Tertiary conglomeratic Local 
Sediments is a peculiar rock locally designated glamm. It is a 
completely unstratified breccia of a grey or grey-black colour, in 
which a clayey matrix carries angular fragments of Carpathian 
sandstone, mica-schist, phyllite, and Tertiary eruptive rocks. The 
cement of the glamm is impregnated with exceedingly finely-divided 
pyrite. The glamm is especially well pyritised at its contact with 
dacite. Its passage into the Local Sediments is gradual, 
whereas its boundary with the dacite is always sharply defined. 
Its thickness is on an average between 45 and 50 feet, where met 
with on the boundary between the northern Local Sediments 
and the dacite. It surrounds the dacite and the rhyolite of the 
Boj and of the Kirnik mountains as a narrow border in the north 
and a broad one in the south. Semper, a who has devoted a con- 
siderable amount of attention to the subject, and from whose descrip- 
tion most of the following details are derived, assumes that the glamm 
has been formed by a sudden upward outwelling of mud that broke 
off numerous fragments of Archaean, Cretaceous, and Tertiary 
rocks in its passage through the underlying rocks, and carried them 
to the surface. 

The general relations of the Verespatak strata are expressed 
by the following upward succession : Carpathian sandstone, true 
rhyolite, glamm, Local Sediment, younger rhyolite with pumiceous 
ground-mass, and finally hornblende-andesite. 

The gold veins lie indifferently in the dacite of the Boj and 
Kirnik mountains, in the Local Sediment, and in the Carpathian 
sandstone. Payable mines occur neither in the hornblende- 
andesite nor in the glamm. On the whole the most favourable 
rocks appear to be the highly-weathered and pyritised dacite and 
older rhyolite. The vein-filling shows occasionally a laminated 
and banded structure. It is generally quartz with calcite and 
rhodochrosite, impregnated with auriferous pyrite or with free gold. 
Quartz with pyrite and black alabandite (Mn S) is not uncommon, 
Chalcopyrite, fahlore, galena, and tetrahedrite are met with more 
generally in the silver lodes of the district than in the gold 
veins. Stockwerks are a characteristic feature of the Verespatak 
gold deposits. They are formed by the close interlacing of a great 
number of veins and veinlets. In their neighbourhood the highly 
propylitised country-rock is silicified and pyritised. As a rule, 
stockwerks are developed in those eruptive breccias, of which the 
cement is the above-mentioned porous pumiceous rhyolite impreg- 
nated with secondary silica and with auriferous pyrite. The 

a " Beitrage zur Kenntniss der Goldlagerstatten des Siebenbiirgischen Erzgebirges," 
Abhand. der Kon. Freuss. geol. Landesanst., XXXIII, 1900, p. 146. 

174 EUROPE. 

famous " Katroneza Stock " is a brecciated stockwerk forming a 
chimney in the dacite. Its cementing material was largely quartz 
and pyrite that carried finely-divided native gold. As in the 
majority of the Transylvanian ore-deposits, the tenor of the ore 
steadily decreases in depth. The richer parts appear to be the central 
portions of the stockwerks. Another well-known ore-body is the 
" Csetatye-Stock," which is formed of a close network of fissures 
and veinlets reticulating the dacites, Local Sediments, and Car- 
pathian sandstone of the Boj Hill. 

In the Local Sediments the gold veins are, as a rule, small, 
but regular. The ores are auriferous pyrite and free gold lying in 
quartz matrix that is occasionally associated with calcite. The 
number of veins in these beds is relatively much smaller than in 
the dacite and rhyolite. The workable veins in the Carpathian 
sandstone are of very little importance. They follow the regular 
strike and dip of the strata ; their filling is quartz, calcite, 
auriferous pyrite, free gold, and more rarely, galena, blende, 
marcasite, and chalcopyrite. 

As a rule, the walls of the veins, for a distance within the 
country of at least a foot, are generally worth milling. Stockwerk 
deposits have occasionally been found in the Carpathian sand- 
stone near its contact with the Local Sediment. Of these the 
" Letyeer-Stock " has been the richest. 

The gold of Verespatak occurs crystallized in vughs, free in the 
quartz, or associated with pyrite. Its fineness is only about 500. 
The dacites and rhyolites carry more auriferous sulphide ore and 
less free gold than the Local Sediment. The richness of the deposits 
is directly proportional to the degree of silicification of the rock. The 
general rules applying to the Transylvanian mines, viz., that the 
richness of a deposit is largely dependent on degree of alteration, 
on thickness of vein, on intersection of veins, &c, are also applic- 
able to the Verespatak deposits. It is worthy of note that galena 
is locally considered to indicate poverty of ore. The upper work- 
ings yield much more vugh-gold than is found at depth, but the 
deeper levels nevertheless still furnish rich pockets of crystallized gold. 

In the Korna and Bucsum valleys, a few miles south-east of 
Verespatak, Jurassic limestones and Carpathian sandstones are 
intruded and covered by Tertiary andesites, dacites, and 
volcanic breccias. In bygone centuries a flourishing mining 
industry was conducted in these valleys ; in the Bucsum valley at 
the Concordia mine, rich deposits were found at the intersection 
of vertical and flat fissures. The gangue of the veins is calcite 
and the country is a siliceous contact-breccia." In all respects the 

a Gesell, Jahrsber. der kon. Ungarischen- Geol. Anstalt., 1899, pp. 97-103. 



general characters of the mines of these valleys are similar to those 
of Verespatak and require, therefore, no further mention in this 

A few miles south of Bucsum there lies a small group of mines 
in the neighbourhood of Botes, Vulkoj, and Korabia. The peak 
of Botes (Dialu-Botesiu, 1,362 m.) is connected with the Korabia 
range by a low saddle composed, as indeed is the mountain itself, 
of younger Carpathian sandstone. The veins of the area traverse 
a micaceous sandstone. They are from 4 inches to 3 J feet in thick- 

Figs. 77 and 78. 

Fig. 77. N.-S. section through Vulkoj Mines [Posepny). Fig. 78. E.-W. section' through Botesiu 
and Vulkoj. 

A. Botesiu ; B. Vulkoj ; b. Sandstone ; c. Andesite ; a. Nepomuk adit; d. Korabia openwork. 
iugs ; ;'. Jeruga vein. 

ness, and strike approximately at right-angles to the country. Their 
underlie is very steep (70 to 75 to the west). The vein-stone is 
quartz associated with pyrite, chalcopyrite, galena and blende, 
the sulphides occurring either as deposits contemporaneous with the 
quartz, or as a later deposition. Free gold is not uncommon; 
enrichments containing it occur at intersections and are generally 
denoted by a cherty gangue containing hessite. 

On the north-east slope of the Korabia mountains, numerous 
veins are worked. These occur exclusively in the andesite or at its 

176 EUROPE. 

contact with the micaceous clay-slates and Carpathian sandstone. 
The vein-stone in this case is composed of quartz or calcite, with 
pyrite and some blende, galena, and free gold. The tenor of the 
sulphide ore varies from J to \ ounce (7 to 15 grams.) per ton. 
Posepny a shows that the veins of Vulkoj and Botes have a common 
origin, and are merely developed in different rocks. The mines of 
this region were formerly very profitable, but the industry is now 
on the point of extinction. As a general rule, the veins are im- 
poverished on passing from the igneous rocks to the underlying 

Between Zalathna and Sztanizsa there runs the lofty north- 
west and south-east range of the Grohasel mountains, trending 
from about 2 miles south of the village of Sztanizsa to the south of 
Zalathna, a distance of some 12 miles, with a width over this 
length of 2 to 6 miles. The basement rock beneath the andesite is 
the Carpathian sandstone. In the south and south-east it is bounded 
by the melaphyre range in the neighbourhood of Porkura, and by 
the older Miocene sediments of the Almas valley. Payable gold and 
gold-tellurium veins have been worked on the north-west slopes of 
Fericsel and of Vurfu Ungeri (Sztanizsa) ; in the valley between 
Fericsel and Vurfu Negri (Tekero) ; on the eastern slojDes of the 
Grohasel mountains (Faczebaj) ; and also in the neighbourhood 
of Nagy almas. 

Faczebaj. At Faczebaj the Grohasel mountains, the main 
ranges of the central auriferous area, are composed of hornblende- 
andesite. From their eastern slopes minor spurs composed of 
Carpathian sandstone are thrown off and are traversed by gold- 
quartz lodes. The sedimentary strata here strike north and south 
and dip west. The veins also strike north and south, but their 
dip is to the east at varying angles. Their thickness varies from 
less than an inch to less than a foot, and they are much faulted 
both in hard and soft rocks. The gangue mineral is quartz, 
which is often chalcedonic. Native gold occurs crystallized in 
octahedra, and also as moss gold ; combined it is found with 
and in pyrite, native tellurium, tetrahedrite, chalcopyrite, bornite, 
dyscrasite, bismuthinite, galena, malachite, marcasite, pyrrhotite, 
realgar, stephanite, and tellurite. The fineness of the free gold is 
often more than 930. Enrichments are found where silicified 
country is adjacent to a quartz vein, and seldom occur in the 
softer rocks. The average value of the ore extracted averages 
some 5 dwts. gold per ton. 

Veins are also worked in the hornblende-andesite of the 
Breaza mountains lying to the south-west of Zalathna. These 

a " Genesis of Ore Deposits," Trans. Amer. Inst. M.E., XXIII, 1894, p. 276. 



carry the same minerals as are found in the veins of the Car- 
pathian sandstone of Faczebaj, indicating thus a close genetic rela- 
tionship with them, and with the veins of the Grohasel mountains. 

The veins of Nagyalmas, a short distance to the south of 
Faczebaj, are of no great present importance. They lie in a breccia 
at the contact of hornblende-andesite and Carpathian sandstone. 
Leaves and plates of free gold occur in a quartzose and calcific 
matrix. Gold is also found in a state of fine division associated 
with other ores, and more especially with stibnite, in which case 
the ore may reach a tenor of 20 ounces gold per ton. The gold is 
of an average fineness of 650. 

The hornblende-andesite of Fericsel and Sztanizsa (Vurfu 
Ungeri) is decomposed in the immediate neighbourhood of the 
veins to propylite (grunsteintrachyte). Its numerous veins are poor 
and unprofitable. At Tekero the slopes of the valley are melaphyre, 
in which are numerous exploratory workings. The veins along 
which search for gold has been made lie in highly altered melaphyre 
rock. They are only 2 inches to 3 inches wide, and carry a pre- 

Fig. 79. Ideal cross-section through the Nagyag Mountains (V. Inkey). 
a. Phyllite. b. Lower Miocene sediments, c. Pronylitised rock. d. Normal dacite. e. Kaolinised 
zones. /. Surface weathering, g. Vein zones. 

dominantly calcific gangue with occasionally a little quartz and free 
gold, auriferous pyrite, chalcopyrite, and blende. Crystallized gold 
of later deposition occurs in vughs in the veins, but the greater part 
of the gold is associated with pyrite, forming an ore so refractory 
that the ordinary amalgamation process cannot be employed for the 
recovery of the gold. Beyond Tekero numerous veins lie in andesite 
and furnish small mines. 

Nagyag. The auriferous veins of Nagyag are probably among 
the best known of those of Transylvania. They lie in the extreme 
southern corner of the quadrangular auriferous area outlined at the 
beginning of this section. Nagyag itself lies on the northern slopes 
of the watershed of the Maros. The bed-rock of these mountains is 
Archsean clay-slate, on which have been deposited Mesozoic strata, 
now only locally preserved, and of little importance. In the imme- 





diate vicinity of the Nagyag veins Lower Miocene shales, sandstones, 
and conglomerates form the basement rocks on which are deposited 
great flows of dacite and hornblende-andesite. The latter rock, 
which is rich in augite, carries no gold-quartz veins, and the 
universal country of the ore-bodies is a quartz-bearing dacite, 
particularly when it has undergone extensive propylitisation, a 
pathological feature which, indeed, is generally characteristic of 
the country of the ore-bodies of the Transylvanian auriferous region. 
The process of propylitisation extends outward from the veins, and 
appears to arise from the passage of the solf ataric waters that have 
presumably also furnished the vein-filling. 

Independently of the 
fissures induced in various 
ways at the former surface, 
there may be distinguished 
in the dacite of Nagyag three 
kinds of fissures, viz., glauch 
veins, ore-bearing veins, and 
barren " pug " (clay) veins. 
The glauch veins are charac- 
teristic of Nagyag. Their 
filling is a soft clayey mass 
of dark grey colour, in which 
are usually contained brec- 
ciated fragments of dacite, 
sandstone, and shale, or 
more rarely, of phyllite and 
mica-schist. The fragments 
occur in extremely variable 
size and quantity. They 
may be considered to be 
fault-breccias in which the 
larger material, as well as 
the finer, is derived from the crushed country walls of the fissures. 
Their thickness varies considerably. They may be thin as leaves 
or may be yards in width. Throughout their mass there is generally 
disseminated an abundance of finely-divided pyrite, to which, indeed, 
the dark colour of the glauch is probably due. They traverse not 
only the dacite, but also the Tertiary sandstones and conglomerates. 
On the whole, they are developed apparently in close proximity to 
the ore-bodies, on which they appear to exercise a favourable in- 

The association of tellurium and gold is also characteristic of 
the Nagyag veins. Nagyagite is the principal telluride, while sylvanite 

Fig. 80. 

d. Dacite 
Glauch vein, g 

Glauch Veins, Nagyag (F. Jnkey). 
fir'jr 1 . Oldest Glauch veins, g-. Second 
Youngest Glauch vein, 6in. thick. 



is much less common. Petzite and krennerite are rare. The 
chief sulphides are pyrite, chalcopyrite, galena, and blende. Native 
gold is rarely seen, and when visible is of secondary origin and arises 
from the decomposition of the tellurides. 

According to Von Inkey, the following succession of minerals 
within the vein-fissures may be made out : 

(1) Quartz (earliest, but also occurs in later formations). 

(2) Sulphides (alabandite, galena, blende, fahlore, pyrite, 

chalcopyrite, bournonite). 

(3) Tellurides and gold. 

(4) Calcite. 

(5) Stibnite, arsenic, barytes, gypsum, and realgar. 
The veins in the dacite are richest 

when they are of medium thickness ; 
they are clearly defined in the propyli- 
tised country. Great thicknesses of silica 
are met with in brecciated zones, and are 
always associated with the above-men- 
tioned alteration of the dacite. The veins 
are continued into the sedimentary rocks, 
but the latter are ordinarily considered in 
Nagyag to be unfavourable for ore-deposi- 
tion. On the other hand, rich ore-bodies 
are found in veins lying along the contact 
of the dacite and the sedimentary rocks. 
Experience has shown that at the inter- 
section of veins, deposits of increased rich- 
ness maybe expected to be found. Similar 
enrichments are met with near the point 
of departure of stringers, hangers, or 
droppers from a main vein. It is noted 
that enrichments are more frequent when 
the angle of intersection is acute (20 t-o 40). The actual vein 
crossings at Nagyag are themselves generally rather poor, 
and the rich ore is found at a little distance (a few 
feet) from the actual intersection. Often the connection between 
the two frayed or broken ends of a transverse vein is 
made by numerous small stringers that cross the main vein. The 
intersection or junction of two veins of unequal thickness, or the 
contact of a vein with the glauch, are regions of local enrichment. 
Great help in the search for rich veins is afforded by the stockwerks 
of minute pyrite-stringers (kiesschnure). Between these pyritous 
stringers the dacite itself is always strongly impregnated with 
pyrite. The thickness of the pyrite veinlets is often microscopical, 

Fig. 81. Enrichment at Junction 

of Pyritous Veins and 
"Glauch" Vein, Nagyag (Semper). 

d. Dacite. e. Barren vein (Longin- 
hlujt). k. Pyritous stringers. 
g. Glauch vein. e 1 e 1 . Enrichment. 

180 EUROPE. 

but local experience has shown that- at the contact with the ore 
veins, or at their intersection by such pyritous bands, the richest 
deposits are found. Blende and alabandite (Mn S) are con- 
sidered unfavourable " indicators," while a large body of quartz, 
often indicates a high value. For Nagyag an absolute diminution 
in the gold tenor in depth cannot certainly be made out. Special 
enrichment at any given zone has, on the other hand, not been 

The gold-quartz veins of Hondol, lying north-west of Nagyag, 
traverse propylitised quartz-free hornblende-andesite. The adja- 
cent dacite of the Beszerikucza mountain ridges is, however, quite 
unaltered, and carries no ore-deposits of value. Many of the 
mines of Hondol are very ancient ; of these the Maria-Regina has 
been the most productive, whilst the Karoli has for many centuries 
been famed for its free gold. 

To the west and north-west of the above-mentioned dacite the 
mountain range is composed of hornblende-andesite. Towards its 
south-western end and more especially at Toplicza and Magura, 
under the heights of the Fourazberges at Csertes, are numerous re- 
mains of ancient gold mines. The western ridge of this andesite 
massif is in contact, to the east of Fuzesd-Barbara, with the mela- 
phyre of the Boicza mountains. On the slopes of Mala, Piczegus, 
Hunk, &c, are a number of unimportant mines, whose veins lie 
indifferently in the melaphyre and in the hornblende-andesite. 
They are worked by Wallachian lessees or by small companies. 
The combined gold-districts of Tresztya, Troicza, and Barbara, 
lying a little further to the north-west, are of much more importance. 
The principal workings in the Fuzesd valley radiate from the Grimm 
tunnel which traverses Miocene strata for 984 feet, and then 
passes through melaphyre tuff, then through a melaphyre flow, 
meeting at 1,968 feet (600 metres) from its mouth the first gold 
vein (Antonien). Further to the east, within the tunnel, the gold- 
quartz veinlets are close together, and the alteration of the mela- 
phyre is more advanced. The melaphyre is decomposed to form a 
kaolin-calcite product. Veins are also found in the hornblende- 
andesite. Along the Grimm tunnel the veins strike north and south, 
parallel indeed to the contact of the melaphyre and the hornblende- 
andesite. The width of the veins is rarely more than 4 inches. 
The gangue is quartz and calcite. Free gold is associated with 
pyrargyrite, stephanite, fahlore, bournonite, chalcopyrite, pyrite, 
marcasite, galena, blende, and stibnite. The greater part of the 
auriferous content is, however, enclosed in pyrite. The tenor of 
the ore is from 3 to 33 dwts. (5 to 50 grams) gold and silver bullion 
per metric ton. Silver ores are restricted more particularly to the 


Troicza district. The relation between the tenor of the quartz 
and its country walls resembles much that obtaining at Nagyag. 
Grey compact quartz is locally considered to be the best host for 
gold. Galena and blende with white sugary quartz, are, on the 
other hand, unfavourable " indicators." Junctions of lines of 
pyritous impregnation are regarded as particularly favourable 
spots of enrichment here, as at Nagyag. The complete absence of 
marked relations between the gold tenor of the quartz veins and 
the enclosing country indicates with sufficient clearness that the 
vein-filling has been dependent on the younger Tertiary volcanic 
activity. The high values obtained in the upper zones of the 
Troicza, Tresztya, and Barbara mines have not persisted into the 
lower levels. 

The Kisalmas-Porkura mines lie on the northern boundary of 
the Csetras mountains and some 7 miles north of Nagyag. The 
fundamental rock of the district is melaphyre. The veins lie in 
melaphyre and also in quartz-porphyry (porphyrite). The stock- 
werk of the Ludwig mine is situated within a zone of contact- 
breccia, formed at the junction of a dacite that is intrusive through 
the melaphyre. The breccia is 50 to 100 feet wide, and has been 
followed for a length of 200 feet, and for a depth of nearly 500 feet. 
The highly decomposed breccia fragments are thoroughly im- 
pregnated with pyrite and are cemented by calcite, quartz, and 
auriferous pyrite. The dacite fragments in the breccia carry, 
however, but little pyrite. It is notable that, in these ore- 
deposits, free gold is found resting on the predominant 
octahedral planes of the pyrite. The gold thus obtained has 
a fineness of 853. The tenor of the ore varies from a few 
pennyweights to 3 ounces per ton, with an average of perhaps 
an ounce. The occurrence of amethystine quartz is locally 
considered to indicate the presence of gold. Semper conjectures 
that the vein-filling came along the fissures and into the breccia 
from a hornblende-andesite magma lying, at depth. 

Boicza. The Boicza mines, lying midway between Nagyag 
and Brad, date back to Roman times. They lie on the 
northern slopes of the Szvregyel mountain, 2,237 feet (682 m.) 
high, which forms here the highest point of the mountain 
complex of Jura-Cretaceous melaphyre and of quartz-porphyry 
rocks. The oldest levels (Katherina and Barbara) lie on the 
southern slopes of this hill, whilst further north are the Rudolf 
and Josef levels. The Klein level first traverses highly-weathered 
melaphyre and then passes into a soft grey kaolinised rock 
termed "dacit-tuff," which, however, is really a weathered quartz- 
porphyry that has been intruded through the melaphyre. The 

182 EUROPE. 

latter is much altered, and in the neighbourhood of the ore-fissures 
often decomposes spheroidally, with a deposit of greyish hornstone 
or brick-red chalcedony between the spheroids. In contact with the 
vein the melaphyre is decomposed to a soft calcareous kaolinic mass. 
Two systems of fissuring are evident. Glauch veins of 33 to 66 feet 
in thickness occur at Boicza, but differ from those of Nagyag in the 
greater size of the brecciated fragments and in their greater regularity 
in strike and dip, and further by the absence of the dark colour due 
to impregnated pyrite. The ore-bodies follow the course of the 
glauch veins, especially in the hanging- wall country. Many also lie 
in the breccia itself. The width of the veins is small, and seldom 
reaches a foot. The vein matter is similar to that of Troicza and 
Tresztya. The free gold has a fineness of 600 to 700. Nothing 
positive may be said concerning the distribution of the richer ore- 
bodies. Great thickness of vein and extensive alteration of the 
country are here, as elsewhere in Transylvania, indications of 
enrichment. Those veins that accompany glauch lodes may generally 
be distinguished by greater productiveness. Local enrichments 
occur at the junctions and intersections of veins where these make 
an acute angle. Higher values are found also on the hanging- wall 
when the breccia there contains no melaphyre fragments. Further, 
a quartzose gangue, especially when in the form of amethystine or 
brick-red chalcedonic concretions in a weathered melaphyre, 
generally indicates high values. With increase in depth, the gold 
tenor is gradually diminished, a feature due, probably, to the removal 
of base matter and gangue in the upper levels. In 1895, 9,452 
ounces (294 kg.) gold and 5,359 ounces (166-7 kg.) silver were pro- 
duced from these mines. The fineness of the gold was 668. 

The most important mines of Transylvania at the present day 
lie in the Western Csetras mountains, which are formed of dacite 
hills, the product, not of a single-fissure eruption as in the Eastern 
Csetras, but of a succession of eruptions. The region is charac- 
terised by great abundance of hypersthene-amphibole-andesite 
together with apparently younger eruptive rocks. Jurassic 
melaphyre is associated with the Klippenkalk (cliff-limestone), 
and further with a quartz-porphyry a little to the south of Brad. 
It, however, carries no workable deposits. The Tertiary eruptive 
rocks overlie the Carpathian sandstone (Cretaceous) in the north, 
while in the south and west they cover Lower Miocene shales, 
sandstone and conglomerate. 

In the eastern spurs of these mountains lie the few rich occur- 
rences of Felso-Kajanel. Here the dacites have broken through the 
Miocene sediments which form the basement rock of the Kajanel 
mountains. The dacites and dacite-tuffs are developed in the 


mountains of Goronaand Manesiu. They are in their turn intruded 
by hornblende-andesite. The auriferous veins lie in the dacite 
and dacite-tuffs. They also pass into the hornblende-andesite, but 
there soon thin out into barren stringers. The two most important 
veins are the " Gold " and " Silver " veins. Three generations of 
quartz have been made out. The oldest formed quartz of the 
Kajanel mines carries free gold, pyrite, marcasite, chalcopyrite, and 
silver sulphides. A younger quartz carries galena, blende, pyrite, 
chalcopyrite, brownspar, and calcite ; a still younger, brownspar, 
barytes, and gypsum, with gold, silver, fahlore, chalcopyrite, &c. 
Propylitisation of the dacite is a characteristic feature, and is 
attended by considerable richness in adjacent veins. The kies- 
schnure (pyritous impregnations) above-mentioned, also indicate an 
enrichment that may take place in well-defined shoots. Despite 
several such rich shoots the mines have, on the whole, not been 

Ruda, In the western end of the Csetras mountains, between 
the hills of Gyalu Fetye, 2,300 feet (701m.), and of Hrenyak, 
2,460 feet (750 m.), are the Muszari mines. The basement rock is 
melaphyre. Hypersthene-bearing dacite and hornblende-andesite 
are traversed by various levels of the mines, thus affording 
considerable scope for observation of propylitic changes. In 
the east of the field the veins strike from north to north-west, 
but in the southern portion they intersect so irregularly that 
they appear almost to radiate from a centre. The thickness 
of the veins is generally less than 4 inches. The gangue 
minerals resemble those found elsewhere in Transylvania, free 
gold being found with pyrite and showing often fine distorted 
crystallized plates and leaves, with masses of crystal aggregates. 
The more characteristic associates of the gold are crystallized black 
blende, galena, marcasite, and grey or green chalcedonic quartz. 
In age the grey chalcedonic quartz appears to be the oldest. After 
it were deposited pyrite, free gold, galena; and blende, then chalco- 
pyrite, and marcasite, and finally a second deposition of free gold. 
Calcite and dolomite are sometimes younger and sometimes older 
than free gold. The veins in the andesite are, as a rule, calcitic, 
and those in the dacite, quartzose. Local enrichments are always 
expected at junctions or intersections ; indeed, the mines of 
Muszari largely owe their productiveness to the great number of 
such gold-bearing junctions. In the year 1891 a central point Avas 
reached to which all the veins in the vicinity appeared to be 
converging. Ore from this rich central deposit yielded gold to the 
amount of 30 to even 100 ounces per metric ton. There is thus 
in this feature considerable analogy with the far richer deposits 



in similar rocks of the Thames goldfield in the North Island of 
New Zealand, where similar intersections (" Shotover "and" Cale- 
donian ") yielded bonanzas of many hundred thousands of ounces 
gold. At Muszari the galena itself is auriferous in bulk. Other 
indications of the proximity of bonanzas are : extensive altera- 
tion of the country ; a medium thickness of vein ; and contact with 
the so-called kiesschnure. The workings have reached a depth 
of more than 750 feet without perceptible impoverishment in the 
tenor of the ore. 

The mining districts of the Barza region, to the east of Hrenyak, 
lie in the valleys of Ruda, Barza, Valea Mori, and Valea Arszului, 
and together with Muszari, are combined to form the property of the 
Harkort Gold Mining Company, better known as the Twelve 

Apostles Mine, in 1908 the 
richest and most productive 
gold mine in Europe. 

These mines were un- 
doubtedly worked by the 
Romans, and numerous 
traces of their extensive 
operations are still extant 
in the form of levels and 
shafts, implements, and ma- 
chinery. Indeed, Roman 
activity was widespread 
over the whole of the Tran- 
sylvanian Erzgebirge, and 
3. Quartz" stringers with few valleys are without 
traces of their mining works. 
From the Middle Ages until quite recently the Ruda mines have 
been in the hands of noble Hungarian families. In 1884, they, and 
eight years later, the other mines above-mentioned, came into the 
possession of the present company (Harkortsche Bergwerk, &c). 

The general geological formations represented in the neigh- 
bourhood of the Twelve Apostles Mines may, for comparison with 
other Transylvanian occurrences, be briefly summarised in the table 
below : 


Fig. 82. Glauch Vein's, Valea Mori (Bauer). 

1. Dark Glauch vein (oldest). 2. Grey Glauch vein 
with fragments of black slate. 
free gold (youngest). 


Eruptive Rocks. 

Sedimentary Rocks. 

Trias- Jura 







Carpathian Sandstone. 
Mediterranean Beds. 



The oldest rocks are the melaphyre-tuffs and lavas of the 
Lower Trias. These are largely developed in the lower Ruda 
Valle} r . They were depressed below the level of the sea at the 
close of the Trias, permitting the deposition of the coral reefs of the 
Klippenkalk of the Jurassic period. This formation is not wide- 
spread in the immediate neighbourhood of the mines, but it has a 
considerable development along the main water parting between 
the Maros and the White Koros. Then followed an eruption of 

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Fig. 83. Geological Sketch Map of the "Twelve Apostles" Mine, Ruda, 

Transylvania {Primics). 

1. Jurassic limestone. 2. Melaphyre. 3. Carpathian Sandstone. 4. Quartz-porphyry. 
5. Mediterranean (Miocene) Beds. 6. Andesitic tuffs. 7. Dacite. 

8. Amohibole-andesite. 9. Garnet- andesite. 10. Hypersthenc-hornblende-andesite. 

porphyrite (quartz-porphyry) succeeded by the deposition in 
Cretaceous times of the Carpathian sandstone. Thereafter a great 
gap in time intervenes until the deposition of the Mediterranean Beds 
(Miocene). The lower beds of this stage are made up of red greyish 
clays, with and without pebble beds; the middle beds are conglomerate, 
grit, and sandstone, and contain at times workable coal seams. 
Somewhat remarkable black shales occur in these beds in the 
Valea Mori, and are believed by Semper to represent mud eruptions ; 

186 EUROPE. 

Von Palfy, on the other hand, considers them to be of entirely normal 
sedimentary origin. 

The beds of the Mediterranean stage were intruded and covered 
by great andesitic eruptions that produced tuffs, breccias, and lavas. 
The last, when broadly considered, show four fairly distinct types : 

( 1 ) Pyroxene-amphibole-andesite . 

(2) Amphibole-andesite. 

(3) Dacite (quartz-bearing biotite-amphibole-andesite). 

(4) Garnetiferous dacite. 

According to Von Palfy, the above is also the order of the 
eruption. The rocks are largely altered or propylitised (in grun- 
steinartige modifikation umgeivandelte). A number of old levels on 
the slopes of Barza and Koranda mountains are in propylitised 
hornblende-andesite, with which also are associated the productive 
veins in the deeper workings. 

The mines of Ruda and Barza are working a double system of 
veins, the members of which have an average thickness of 15 inches 
to 3 feet. The more important are the Magdana, Kornya, Michaeli, 
and Josephi veins. A third system lies further west than the fore- 
going. The minerals occurring in the Valea Mori, Ruda, and 
Barza Mines are essentially the same as those of Muszari already 
described. In the Valea Mori the country of the Francisca vein is 
the above-mentioned black shale of the Mediterranean stage. It 
has been concluded by B. Von Inkey that the vein fissures of this 
region are a direct result of contraction due to the cooling of the 
eruptive rocks. With this view, most authorities who have 
visited the field express themselves in complete accord. 

About one half the gold yield of the Twelve Apostles Mines 
comes from free gold of an average fineness of 700. In the vein- 
filling the oldest deposited member appears to be solid calcite or 
quartz, the latter being often chalcedonic. Of contemporaneous 
age are probably the associated gold, pyrite, chalcopyrite, galena, 
and blende. The rhodochrosite of the Valea Mori veins comes next 
in age. The walls of the drusy cavities between the older minerals 
are covered with crystals of quartz and calcite on which the later 
generation of gold, pyrite, chalcopyrite, galena, and blende is 
deposited. The youngest vein-deposits are siderite, barytes, and 
gypsum. The chalcopyrite that accompanies the gold pockets is 
itself often very highly auriferous. As a rule, the thin veins in the 
rocks of the crater walls of the ancient Valea Mori volcano are 
richer than the larger and better-defined veins that traverse the 
andesite of Barza and Ruda. The ores of Valea Mori carry 
from 2 to 3| ounces (60 to 105 grams) gold, of which 16 dAvts. to 2 
ounces (25 to 63 grams) are free gold ; those from Ruda only carry 



from 13 to 21 ctwts. (20 to 33 grams), of which all except 5 to 7| 
dwts. (8 to 12 grams) is free milling. Considering the veins broadly 
no depreciation in value can be made out with increase in depth ; 
on the contrary, the gold production tends to rise from year to year. 
The level of the richest zone is about 1,150 to 1,230 feet (350 to 
375 metres) above sea-level. The following table shows the product 
of these mines from 1885 to 1904, a period of 20 years. a 


Metric Tons 

Kg. Crude Gold. 

Gram Gold per 

Costs per Ton in 
























16 06 















12 04 
















17 64 





16 44 

























10 82 










9 85 






* An Austrian crown is worth lOd. 

The total amount of crude gold produced to the end of 1904 was 
therefore 450,243 ounces (14,004-471 kg.) derived from 1,410,209 
tons ore, or an average return of 6-3 dwts. (9-9 grams) per metric 
ton. The fineness of the bullion varies from 600 to 700. The 
total value of the output of these mines in the stated time is 
somewhat less than one and a quarter millions sterling. 

Karacs-Czebe. The Karacs-Czebe district, a few miles 
south of Korosbanya on the white Koros River, contains 
the most westerly mines of the Transylvanian auriferous 
region. The oldest rock of the area is melaphyre or 
augite-porphyry, which occurs both as flows and as tuffs 
distinguishable from each other only with the greatest difficulty. 
These are overlain, as in the Barza region, first by the Jura- 
Triassic Klippenkalk, then by the Cretaceous Carpathian sand- 
stone, and again by Miocene reddish clays and conglomerates on 

a Bauer, Berg- und Hiitt. Jahrs. der k.k. montan. Hochsch. zu Leoben und Pribram, 
LIII, 1905, p. 85. 

188 EUROPE. 

which workable seams of brown coal lie. On these sedimentary 
rocks andesite lava streams were poured forth during the Mediter- 
ranean and Sarmatian (Miocene) stages, and were propylitised by 
subsequent solfataric action, during which operation ore-deposition 
took place. The minerals of the Karacs-Czebe mines are native gold 
(750 to 795 fine), sylvanite, nagyagite, pyrite, galena, blende, 
rhodochrosite, alabandite, and pyrolusite, all in a gangue of quartz 
and calcite. The tellurides are especially characteristic of the Czebe 
stock. The Peter-Paul lodes of Karacs have a tenor of about 9 
dwts. gold per ton, and the Peter-Paul stock of Czebe from 6 
dwts. to 18 dwts. per ton. The general result of the actual working 
of these deposits for a year and a half showed an average recovery 
of 5 dwts. (8 grams) per ton, which is very probably a closer approxi- 
mation to their true value than numerous high assays that have been 
published from time to time. Von Papp a estimates that in the 
2,000 years of working at Karacs-Czebe at least 7,500 kg. (241,125 
ounces) gold has been extracted from the veins and a further 5,000 
kg. (167,500 ounces) from the placer deposits of the streams that run 
from the veins towards the White Koros at Korosbanya. These 
last are worked even at the present day, and rough trials made by 
Von Papp showed tenors over limited areas of from 1 J to H dwts. (2 
to 2-5 grams) per metric ton. b 

Placer Deposits. The auriferous placer deposits of Austria- 
Hungary have been described in detail by Grimm. c They have 
been found more particularly on the Aranyos (golden river) in Tran- 
sylvania, from its source in the Bihar mountains to its junction 
with the Maros. The Aranyos lies on the northern boundary of 
Transylvanian auriferous region, whence its gold has certainly 
been derived. The Warme Czamos flowing to the north-east from 
the Bihar mountains also carries appreciable quantities of gold, as, 
indeed, do most of the streams cutting through the auriferous 
area (e.g., the Feher (white) Koros at Czebe, and the Maros at 
Magyar-Csesztye). Further south, across the Maros, the streams 
flowing from the Pojana Ruska and from the Golubinje mountains, 

a Von Papp, Zeit. fur prakt. Geol., XIV, 1906, p. 305. 

" The literature of the Transylvanian ore-deposits is extensive. The following list 
perhaps comprises the more important papers : Richthofen, Jahrb. der k.k. geol. Reich. 
zu Wien. 1860, pp. 153-277 ; Von Cotta and Von Fellenberg, " Ueber Erzlagerstatten 
Ungarns und Siebenbiirgens," Gangstudien, IV, pp. 65, 156 ; Von Hauer und Stache, 
" Geologie Siebenbiirgens," Vienna, 1863; Posepny, Jahrb. der k.k. geol. Reich., 1868, 
I. p. 53 ; Id., loc. cit., 1868, II, p. 7 ; Doelter, loc. cit., 1874, I, p. 7 ; Id., Tschermak's 
Mittheil, 1874, p. 13 ; Id., loc. cit., 1880, p. 1 ; Thilo, Berg- und Hiitten Zeitung, 1889, 
pp. 125, 133 ; Weisz, Jahrb. der kgl. ungar. geol. Landesanst., IX, Pt. 6, p. 105 ; 
Semper," Beitrage zur kenntniss der Goldlagerstatten des Siebenbiirgischen Erzgebirges," 
Abhand. kon. Preuss. geol. Land., XXXIII, 1900, Berlin, p. 219 ; Bauer, Berg- und 
Hiitt. Jahrb der k.k. montan. Ho^hsch. zu Leoben und Przibram, LIII, 1905, p. 85. 

c Oesterr. Zeit. fur Bergwesen, II, 1854, pp. 91, et. seq. ; see also Horvath, Montan 
Zeitung, 1907, translated Man. Jour., Sep. 7, 1907. 



and indeed those of the Banat mountains generally, all carry a little 
gold. Small dredges have been operated during 1 907 on the Aranyos, 
but, being of faulty construction and design, have not proved satis- 

Old gold washings are known in the valley of the Bistritza in 
Bukowina in Eastern Hungary. These lie between Jakobeni and 
Watro-Derna. The Moldava in Bukowina also carries traces 
of gold, derived, as in the case of the former river, from andesitic 
auriferous occurrences similar to those of Nagybanya. According 
to Von Gernet b two hundred men earn from 2s. to 3s. per day per 
man by working the surface gravels of the beaches of the Drave 
(Drau), especially between Lakany and Visvar. c 

The gold production of Hungary has increased largely during the 
last three decades as is shown by the yield of the four selected years 
below : d 









Of the foregoing yield of 1902 about 30 per cent, was produced 
by the Twelve Apostles mines. 

The recent available gold returns of Hungary are as follows : 

Washed Gravel and Veinstone. 

Also produced at Metallurgical 


Vein Gold. 


Metric Tons. 


Fine Gold. 












a Horvath, loc. cit. sup. 
b Adv. Sheets Inst. Min. Met., 1908. 

c See also St. Rainer, " Die Gold-baggerei in Europa," Oesterr. Zeit. fur Berg- und 
Hiitt., Ap. 27, 1907. 

^ Bauer, loc. cit. sup. 

190 EUROPE. 


The Rhine. Gold washing, especially along the banks of the 
Rhine, has been practised in Germany from the earliest times. 
Gold-quartz veins have also been worked during many centuries. 
The gold washings along the Rhine between Basle and Mayence were, 
as early as 667 a.d., the subject of a grant by the ruler of Alsace to a 
monastery. The industry is now, however, conducted on a very small 
scale, and the former working of gold is, indeed, in many places quite 
forgotten. At Waldshut, above Basle, gold is known to occur in 
minute quantities, but the principal deposits of the Rhine lie along 
the stretch of 160 miles between Basle and Mayence. Descending 
the stream, deposits are even now from time to time washed at 
Istein, Kleinkems, Rheinweiler, and Niffer. Richer gravels, but 
of extremely irregular tenor, occur at Nambsheim, Geiswasser, and 
Altbreisach ; the majority of the workings are, however, still further 
down the river, below Rheinau, on the Alsace side, and Witten- 
weyer, about 65 miles below Basle. The best reach is from above 
Kehl (opposite Strasburg) to Dachslander, near Karlsruhe, and more 
particularly that portion of it at Helmlingen, some 14 miles below 
Kehl. From Speyer to Mayence the remainder of the auriferous 
reach the deposits are unimportant. On the whole, the deposits 
of the right bank (Baden) are richer than those of the left (Alsace). 

The gold occurs as tiny flakes in the coarser gravel, being dis- 
tributed through it in association with the larger pebbles, that 
make up 40 to 50 per cent, of the auriferous sands. The auriferous 
stratum lies mostly on the surface of the beaches, and is seldom 
more than 6 to 10 inches deep, sometimes, however, being covered 
by a layer of fine sand. The tenor of the gravel is 1 7 to 12 grains 
per cubic yard ( -0146 to 1-011 gram, per cubic metre). The lowest 
tenor nowadays considered profitable is at least 2-75 grains per 
cubic yard. This tenor is not now found in the present bed of 
the Rhine, but in the gravels of the valley, some 6 to 8 miles 
distant from the stream ; also a like tenor may be obtained in the 
gravels of the 111, near Geispolsheim, that are covered by fine sand 
of no value. According to Daubree, the quartz-pebbles of the 
Rhine occasionally carry gold, one such found in the 111 near 
Strasburg, being thickly impregnated. 

The gold of the Rhine is 934 fine, with 66 silver. Platinum to 
the extent of -069 per cent, has also been found. The heavy sands 
contain 10 to 14 per cent, titanite, with rose quartz and a little 
zircon. Of the Alsace yield there is no definite information, but 
records were kept of the production of the Grand-Duchy of Baden 
until 1874, when the yield became too trifling to record. From 


1748 to 1799 about 1,850 ounces (57-6 kilos) and from 1800 to 1874, 
9,810 ounces (305-61 kilos) were recovered. Von Cotta states that 
400 washers were at work in Baden in 1859. In the Pfalz Palatinate 
from 1825 to 1862 some 1.573 ounces (49 kilos) were obtained/' 
The Rhine washings are now completely abandoned, except for a 
little occasional amateur washing. It is said that, towards the close 
of the eighteenth century, the lower Rhine in the neighbourhood 
of Wesel (Dusseldorf) produced gold. 6 

Small grains of gold are met with from the Lower Devonian of 
Goldbach, west of Bernkastel in the bed of the Andel, which falls 
from the south into the Moselle (Trier or Treves district). These are 
especially numerous after floods, and possibly point to the occur- 
rence in the immediate neighbourhood of gold-quartz veins, similar 
to those found across the French frontier in the Ardennes. In the 
Aachen district also, east and south of Malmedy,near Buttgenbach, at 
Montenau, Born, and Recht, and from Ligneuville as far as Stavelot 
(Belgium), are old gold-washers' pits. They follow a bed of quartzite 
and conglomerate, which lies for about 35 miles along the contact 
of the Lower Devonian and Cambrian, and which appears to be the 
matrix of the gold. Prospecting along this line has, however, met 
with no success. 

Other Rivers. Gold in valley alluvials occurs along the West- 
phalian mountains in the Brilon circle, Arnsberg district ; in the 
Diemel from Westheim above Stradtberge to its junction with the 
Rehne ; and in the Hoppeke from its junction with the Diemel to 
the boundary of the principality of Waldeck ; in the Orke at Ron- 
ningshausen ; and in the Aar below Titmaringhausen. Old mine 
workings in this region carry pyrites, and in the adjacent principality 
of Waldeck, at Goldhausen in the Eisenberg, a gold-bearing copper 
pyrite deposit occurs in sandy slates and limestones. These 
deposits in the fifteenth, and more particularly about. the middle 
of the sixteenth century, yielded gold. In the eighteenth century 
explorations were made, and were from time to time continued, 
always unsuccessfully, as between 1850-1860, into the nineteenth 
century. The sands of the Eder are auriferous from Frankenberg 
(Cassel) through Waldeck and the Fritzlar district, to its junction 
with the Fulda at Guntershausen, and although extended trials have 
failed, yet gold in small quantities has been washed in recent times 
in the neighbourhood of Fritzlar, Altenberg, and Felsberg. 

a Neumann, " Die Goldwascherei am Rliein," Zeit. Berg. Hiitt. und Sal. Wesen, LI, 
1903, pp. 377-420. 

b Bruhns, " Nutzbaren Mineralien im deutschen Reiche," Berlin, 1906, p. 559. 
c Berg- mid Hiitten Zeitung, 1899, p. 265. 

192 EUROPE. 

Thuringer Wald. Important gold mines were worked in 
ancient times at Goldisthal, Reichmannsdorf, and Steinheide, north 
of Coburg in the south-eastern portion of the Thuringer Wald. 
They were flourishing in 1209, were abandoned by 1430, and re- 
opened in 1533. The Giite-Gottes mine at Petersburg from 1576 
to 1580 yielded about 75lbs. fine gold. Abandoned in 1635 on 
account of the Thirty Years' War, it was re-opened by Duke Albrecht 
in 1692. In 1700 there were gold washings on the Werra and the 
Ilz near Schwarzen-brunn and Schalkau (Meiningen), but these have 
long been abandoned. The gold-quartz veins formerly worked lay 
in the Cambrian quartzites and carried pyrite, mispickel, and 
haematite. The gold occurs as grains and flakes. The neighbour- 
ing Schwarza from its source to its mouth yielded alluvial gold. 
In 1530 there were no less than 20 gold washings in the principality 
of Schwarzburg-Rudolstadt, and trials made in 1859 proved the 
continued existence of gold. In Schwarzburg gold has been washed 
in modern times. At Reichmannsdorf gold-quartz veins occur in the 
Cambrian. Below Glasbach veins in granite yield gold associated 
with haematite and titanite. There is alluvial gold in the Lauscha, 
Goritz, Goldbach, and Rogitz, and at Steinheide and Selsendorf, 
and in the neighbourhood ; also in the Grand Duchy of Sachsen- 
Weimar at Weida and Kreuzberg, and at Jena on the Saal. There 
is still preserved in the church of Jena a nugget of gold, which was 
found in the neighbouring washings in 1587. 

Harz. In the Harz mountains gold occurs in the pyritous 
ores of the Rammelsberg to the extent of 7 J to 15 grains per metric 
ton. In 1894 the Rammelsberg smelting works thus produced 
2,450 ounces (76-3 kg.) gold worth 10,682. Native gold has also 
been observed at Tilkerode in plates, leaves, and small crystals 
associated with clausthalite, Pb Se, and lehrbachite, (Pb Hg 2 ) Se, in 
a gangue of calcite." 

Bavaria. In the Fichtelgebirge gold occurs in several localities, 
either in veins or in gravels. The Goldkronach mine, according to 
Agricola, yielded weekly a profit of 1,500 Rhenish gulden. Mining 
at Goldkronach dates back at least to the fourteenth century. After 
a long abandonment, operations were actively resumed in 1800 
under the direction of the famous traveller, Von Humboldt, but 
ceased again in 1861. The veins occur mainly in light green Cam- 
brian slates. The gangue is quartz, spathic iron, and calcite, with 
occasional barytes. The minerals in the matrix are antimonite, 
auriferous and argentiferous pyrite, and mispickel with occasional 
galena, blende, and free gold. & 

a Pogg. Ann., Ill, 1825, p. 297. 

b Schmidt, Zeit. fur Berg.-Hiitt-u. Sal. Wesen, LV, 1907, Abh. p. 449. 


These veins yield the alluvial deposits that lie in the Zoppaten- 
bach. Auriferous pyrite has been worked at Goldberg, near Reich- 

In the eastern Bavarian mountains (Bohmer Wald) at Neu- 
albenreuth, and at Bodenmais, are gold occurrences. In Upper 
Bavaria, the Iser, Inn, Ammer, Salzach, Alz, and Donau rivers, all 
carry gold. 

Saxony. Many localities are known on the northern flanks 
of the Erzgebirge in which gold was formerly washed. The principal 
auriferous stream is the Goltzsch, particularly at Falkenstein, 
Ellefeld, Miihlgrun, Auerbach, Rodewisch, &c. The oldest washing 
appears to have been that of Mylau (1564 a.d.). The rocks of 
Johanngeorgenstadt and Eibenstock on the Bohemian frontier 
contain auriferous galena veins. Numerous Saxon streams 
(Striegis, Schwarzwasser, &c.) carry gold, but all in exceedingly 
small quantities. 

Silesia. Of much greater importance are those Silesian alluvial 
occurrences that were most profitably worked during the twelfth and 
thirteenth centuries ; they lie especially on the northern side of the 
Reisengebirge in the districts of Liegnitz, Goldberg-Haynau, and 
Lowenberg. These ancient workings were extensive, and spread 
not only over the valley gravels, but also into the older post- 
Pliocene terraces. The principal workings appear to have been at 
Plagwitz, Petersdorf, Lowenberg, Goldberg, Wahlstatt, Strachwitz, 
and Liegnitz. 

Gold occurs at the Reicher Trost mines, Reichenstein, in arsenical 
sulphides (lollingite, Fe As 2 , and leucopyrite, Fe 2 As 3 ) together with 
auriferous galena, blende, chalcopyrite, and pyrite. These ancient 
mines were re-opened for arsenic at the beginning of the nineteenth 
century, but their gold content was neglected until 1895, when 
the employment of the chlorination process permitted of its extrac- 
tion. The ore-deposits lie in dolomitic rocks closely associated 
with mica-schists. The deposit is 30 to 130 feet thick, and is 
1,300 yards along the strike. In 1903, 3,530 metric tons of ore 
were raised from the Reicher Trost mine, worth about 14,120 
(282,400 m.). From 1895 to 1906 about 1,446 ounces (45 kg.) 995 
fine have been obtained. A small part of the gold appears to be 
amalgamable, but the greater part is not free. The general tenor 
of the arsenical ore varies from 2J dwts. to 21 dwts. per ton. a 

Gold also occurs in the mispickel ores of Rotenzechau, near 
Schmiedeberg (Hirschberg). These lie in a talc-schist band in 

a Weinecke, Zeit. fur prakt. Geol., Sep., 1907, XV, p. 274 ; Sachs, " Die Boden- 
schatze Scklesiens," Leipzig, 1906. 




mica-schists near a granite contact. The gold tenor is 3 dwts. per 
metric ton (00048 per cent.). a Near Kauffung (Altenberg) in the 
Katzbach mountains, auriferous pyrites occurs impregnating an 
olivine-kersantite intrusion. 6 Neither of the two last occurrences 
are now being worked. Ancient alluvial gravels have also been 
washed near Lowenberg. Their gold content is believed to be 
derived from quartz lenses in a pyritous graphitic schist. 

The following table shows the available returns of the produc- 
tion of gold and silver within the German Empire. Separate 
returns for gold are not available. The probable percentage of gold 
value in the following returns is from 10 to 15, the annual gold yield 
of the Empire being apparently about 100 kg. (3,215 ounces).^ 

Metric Tons. 
































From the Kingdom of Prussia during the same period gold and 
silver to the following values were obtained : e 



































a Kosmann, Berg- und Hiitten Zeitung, 1891, p. 329. 

" Bruhns, loc. cit. sup., p. 581. 

c Eosenberg-Lipinsky, Zeit. fiir prakt. Geo!., 1897, p. 156. 

Vierteljakrshefte zur Statistik des deutschen Beicks, Heft IV, 1901-1907, Berlin. 

"- Zeit. Berg. Hiitt. Sal. Wesen, XLIX-LIV, 1901-1907. 



The first recorded discovery of gold in Norway took place 
during the reign of Christian IV. (1588-1642) in the rich silver 
veins of Kongsberg, where State silver mines are being worked to 
the present day. a In 1705 gold was found in copper-ore at the 
Aardal mines on the Sogne Fjord. In 1 788 several thousand grammes 
gold were extracted from the veins of the Eidsvold mines, 45 miles 
north of Christiania. Numerous pyritous veins in Norway contain 
small quantities of gold, as also do the galena and blende mines in 
Hatlefjelddalen. The silver from the Svenningdalen mines often 
contains one per cent. gold. 

The only important auriferous occurrences in Norway are those 
of Bommel Island, midway between Bergen and Stavanger. /; 
The gold veins are restricted to an area of a half-mile square on 
the north-eastern portion of the southern half of the island. The 
outcrops were discovered in 1883, and from their great richness 
attracted a considerable amount of attention. Their tenor, however, 
decreased with depth, and only one company (the Oscar, afterwards 
the Bremnaes) continued work. The rock of the southern portion of 
Bommel Island is a fine crystalline greenish schist in which are con- 
tained large masses of dioritic rock (saussurite-gabbro of Dahll), 
and of a quartz-porphyry that may pass into an epidote-granite. 
This complex is traversed by altered diabasic dykes with which 
the auriferous quartz veins are closely connected. The gold- 
quartz veins occur principally in the quartz-porphyry. The veins 
are numerous. Their quartz is white and sugary, and contains 
pyrite, chalcopyrite, galena, and tetradymite, with occasional blende. 
The free gold is generally associated with pockets of calcite. When 
this is so, the ore may reach a tenor of 7 to 20 ounces gold per ton. 
Occasionally the walls of the lodes, for a distance of 6 to 12 
inches from the vein, are highly mineralised, and may contain several 
pennyweights gold per ton. The width and value of the veins are 
extremely variable factors, and the former may range from a few 
inches to 6 feet. A considerable amount of work has been done on 
some of the veins, a shaft on the Oscar Lode reaching a depth of 
550 feet. The average tenor in 1896 was about 7| dwts. per ton, 
and from 1884 to that year about 30,000 tons ore had been crushed, 
and about 30,000 gold obtained. 

Other auriferous areas occur on the mainland, ten miles from 
the Bommel veins. The country in these areas is granite intruded 

a Daw, Trans. Inst. Man. Met,, V, 1896-1897, p. 212. 

6 Reusch, Neues Jalirb. fur Min., 1887, Beil. Bd., V, p. 61. 



by diabasic dykes entirely similar to those of Bommel Island. The 
gold-quartz veins are small and low-grade. Thirty-five miles further 
north, in the parish of Olve, Hardanger Fjord, there occurs a net- 
work of small gold-quartz veins in green crystalline, chloritic, 
hornblendic, and talcose schists. The gold occurs not only in the 
veins, but disseminated throughout the schists. Early trials showed 
that the gold at the outcrop was very largely due to surface enrich- 
ment, and that at shallow depths the general tenor was only 1 dwt. 
per ton. 

Gold-quartz veins are known on Talg Island, near Stavanger, 
and also in Thelemark, but neither have been extensively worked. 
The Svartdal tourmaline-bearing lodes in the Thelemark region, 
in which copper ores carry appreciable quantities of gold, have been 
generally described as occurring in granite. Vogt a has, however, 
shown that the country is really a quartz-mica-diorite, thus adding 
another example to the type of veins in quartz-mica-diorite to be 
considered later from Eastern North America and Eastern Australia. 

Many Norwegian rivers contain gold in small quantities. The 
richest are those which have their sources in the far-north district 
of Karasjok, Finmark, where there are numerous quartz veins, 
probably the source of the gold. The rivers usually worked are 
the Altan, Tana, Jesjok, and Anarjok. The deposits are not rich, 
and extensive work is hindered by the climate, which permits of 
only four to five months work in the year, since the rivers are 180 
miles within the Arctic Circle, and are, with a possible exception 
from the Upper Koyukkuk in Northern Alaska, the most northerly 
gold occurrences recorded. It is reported that by panning a man 
may collect 1 to 1| dwts. daily. The gold is rough, and is about 
930 fine. A little alluvial gold has also been reported from the 
Topdal and Torrisdal rivers, near Christiansand, South Norway.'' 

The gold production of Norway from the most recent returns 
available are : 

Kg. Fine Gold. 




4 4 

















Zeit. fur prakt. Geo!., 1895, p. 149. 
h Min. Journ., May 16, 1908. 



Nearly all the gold produced in Sweden comes from the treat- 
ment by the Munketell process of the residual products of the silver- 
copper ores of the famous Falun mine, situated in the province of 
Kopparberg, north-west of Stockholm. This mine has been worked 
continuously for many hundred years. According to Tornebohm n 
the country is mainly a fine grained biotite-gneiss with very little 
mica. Associated with the biotite-gneiss are mica- and hornblende- 
schists, quartzites, limestones, and garnetiferous rocks. The foot- 
wall of the deposit is a grey micaceous quartzite intercalated in 
gneiss, while the great mass of the deposit is itself a quartzite 
thoroughly impregnated with sulphides. The ordinary copper-ore 
contains perhaps 1 to 3^ dwts. gold per ton. In 1881 a boy dis- 
covered free gold in white quartz veinlets that traverse the harder 
sulphide ore. Free gold in these is always associated with seleni- 
ferous galena and bismuthinite. Tenors of 3 to 10 ounces gold per 
ton were not uncommon, but the average free gold-ore contains 
only from 6 dwts. to an ounce per ton. The richest gold-quartz is 
found near intrusive diorites.^ 

A little gold has also been obtained from the silver-lead mines 
of Kafveltberg ; from quartz-veins in the gneissose granite of 
Adelfors in Smaland, where the gold is associated with pyrite, galena, 
&c. ; and as rare occurrences in the Svappavara mine, Tornea dis- 
trict, and in the Bastnas mine in Westmanland. c Towards the 
end of 1907 the discovery of a rich gold-copper vein was reported 
from the Nantanen mines, Bjorquirgts goldfield, Norboten 
province, in the extreme north of Sweden.^ 

The total gold yield of Sweden has been estimated as follows: e 






a Geol. Foren. i. Stockholm Forhandl., XV, 1893, p. 409. 

6 Sundbaerg, " Sweden," Stockholm, 1904, p. 758. 

c Erdmann, Mineral., 1853, p. 174. 

d Min. Jour., Nov. 30, 1907. 

e Sundbaerg, loc. cit. sup., p. 753. 



The available returns since 1900 are 


Kg. Fine Gold. 








94 3 




















Finland. The first gold found in 1836 in Finland la,y in frag- 
ments of dolomite. The discovery engendered a considerable 
amount of prospecting in succeeding years in the neighbourhood of 
the Kemi and Tornea rivers towards the Swedish frontier. A fresh 
impetus was given to prospecting by the discoveries of Thellef 
Dahll in the Tana and other rivers of the Norwegian province of 
Finmark. In 1868, a Finnish prospecting party discovered gold in 
Finnish Lapland, along the upper course of the Ivalojoki river, which 
flows through Lake Enara into Varanger Fjord. This river has 
since furnished nearly all the gold produced from Finland. It has 
never been very rich, the best return being obtained by a party of 
three in 1869, who recovered 60 ounces in a few weeks. The year of 
greatest production was 1871, when 1,823 ounces (56,700 grammes) 
were obtained. During a period of 30 years the average annual 
production has been 463 ounces (14,396-7 grammes)." From 
1870 to 1904 it is estimated that 298,350 cubic yards (229,500 cubic 
m.) had been washed for a yield of 14,284 ounces (444,250 grammes) 
or a little more than 1 dwt. per cubic yard. In 1904 the output 
was only 63 ounces (1,950 grammes), and in 1906, 92-8 ounces 
(2,887 grammes) worth 9,095 Finnish marks. The alluvial gravels 
are very thin and narrow. Their depth is from 1J to 6 feet, and 
their width only from 6 to 45 feet. fc The heavy sands contain 
magnetite and garnet with monazite and zircon. 

The country of the gold-quartz veins, the degradation of which 
has furnished the placer gold of Finnish Lapland, is a granulite that 
is traversed both by acidic (quartz-porphyry) and basic (diabase) 

a Fircks, Bull. Com. Geol. de Finlande, Helsingfors, XVII, 1906, pp. 1-33. (In 

" Sarlin, Meddelanden fran Industristyrelsen i Finland, Helsingfors, No, 32, 
1902, p. 1. 

RUSSIA. 199 

dykes. The gangue of the veins is quartz, with a considerable 
admixture of siderite and calcite. Haematite, magnetite, pyrite, 
and chalcopyrite are associated with the gold. These veins have 
been closely examined, but none of any size or value have as yet 
been found. The climate of Finnish Lapland is exceedingly severe, 
the Ivalojoki river lying five degrees within the Arctic Circle. The 
conditions under which the placers occur are therefore entirely 
comparable with those of Northern Alaska. 

Olenetz and Archangel. The earliest recorded gold dis- 
covery in Russia appears to have been made in 1737 at Voitsk in 
the Wyg river, in the Archangel district, where auriferous quartz- 
veins occur in isolated areas of talcose schists in the great granite 
massif of North-Western Russia. The schists in all cases are 
intruded by diabasic rocks. These deposits were never very pro- 
fitable, and were abandoned in 1794, after having produced a little 
more than 2,000 ounces gold. Two gold-quartz veins are also 
known in the province of Olenetz, about 30 miles east-north-east 
and east-south-east respectively of Povenetz on the northern shore 
of Lake Onega. These were discovered in 1744.^ 

Ural Mountains. Long before the conquest of Siberia by the 
Russians, vague stories of its wealth were in circulation in Western 
Europe, but despite vigorous search, it was not until 1743 
that gold was found. The discovery was made by a peasant 
in a quartz -vein at a spot close to the junction of the Pyshma and 
Berezovsk rivers, some seven miles from Ekaterinburg. Of former 
workings in the Urals there is no definite information. Gmelin, 6 
who journeyed through the Urals in 1733-1743, describes, however, 
ancient narrow and cramped workings, presumably for gold. They 
were so low that they could be entered only by crawling on the 
stomach. Remains were found of miners who had perished in a 
collapse of the workings. It is possible that some of the gold 
of ancient Bactria was derived from the Urals. The first dis- 
covery, strangely enough, appears to have been of vein-gold, the 
placer deposits of the region remaining undisturbed until 1774. 

Gold occurs throughout the whole length of the Ural chain, and 
more particularly on its eastern flanks. In the north the upper 
waters of the Petchora, Vishera, Shigor, and Vychegda flowing west 
from the Urals, all carry a little gold. In the Petchora, near the 
northern Troitzk, platinum is associated with the gold. The upper 
waters of the Sossva, which flows into the Obi at Berezov, are also 

a Kokscharov, Mat. Min. Russlands, VI, 1870, p. 350. 
b "Reise durck Siberien," Gottingen, 1751-2, III, p. 299. 


JV^ftt =h'J.^-^ 

6 A A,* a.' A, 

Ja/ a a iA ^ 

|t v Pi ''I a^-'a'* 

.,' A, A , 

A I A a 

i^ a A a , 

A A a.4 

- si ' I - ' " 

Fig. 84. Geological Sketch Map of the Southern* Urals. 

S. Crystalline schists. 0. Gneiss, granite, syenite, and porphyry. Di. Diorite, diabase, and porphyrite. 

Tf. Greenstone tuffs. Sp. Serpentine. D. Devonian. C. Carboniferous. P. Permo-Carboniferous. 

LT. Lower Tertiary. 



believed to carry gold-gravels. All these occurrences are alluvial. 
South of the foregoing, and between 60 and 62 N. lat., especially 
in the neighbourhood of Nikito-Ivdel, are numerous occurrences 
associated with diabase, diabase-porphyrite, and augite porphyrite. 
Placer gravels are widely developed, especially on the Ivdel and 
Wijai rivers, tributaries of the Lossva/' but other streams to the 
north of Petropavlovsk are also auriferous. 

Fig. 65. Geological Sketch Map of Neighbourhood of Ekaterinburg. 

G. Granite and syenite. D. Diorite, diabase, and basic rocks. 8. Crystalline schists. 

L. Lower Devonian Limestone. B. " Beresite " dykes. 

The most northerly goldfields now worked on an extensive 
scale are near Bogoslovsk, where the placers lie along the tributaries 
of the Lossva and (southern) Sossva streams that flow to join the 
Tavda. The gold of the Bogoslovsk placers is associated with 
pebbles of augite-porphyry, jasper, clay-slate, quartz, and grains 
of haematite and magnetite. Gold is found in situ, near Kopte- 
korskoi, six miles from Turinsk, in quartz veins in serpentine. 

a Federov, Tscherm. Mittheil, N.F., XIV, 1894, p. 86. 



The gravels of the Lata and other tributaries of the Lobva are 
auriferous. Next to the south is the district of Likolai-Pavdinsk, 
where are small placer deposits and an auriferous vein carrying 
pyrite in a quartz matrix. It is situated south of the Suchogorsky 
iron smelters. a Near Bissersk, on the western flank of the Urals, 
gold-gravels have been worked since 1824. Diamonds have at 
times been found in the wash. All the streams in the neighbourhood 
of Kushirnsk carry gold. The richest appears to be the Uralicha. 
At Nijni-Tagilsk gold is found on both sides of the Tagil, and also 
between the Tagil and the Nieva river next to the south. The bed- 
rock of these placers is 
talcose and chloritic schist. 
The gold-quartz veins of 
Neviansk lie partly in a rock 
resembling "beresite' 
(microgranite), and partly 
in chlorite-schist. The 
gold occurs in thin plates 
in vughs in quartz. b 

The gold deposits of 
Berezovsk, among the 
most important in the 
Urals, are distributed over 
an area of 246 square 
miles (56 square versts), 
near the Berezovsk mill, 
about 7 1 miles north-east of 
Ekaterinburg. They were 
discovered in 1745, and 
have been worked ever 
since. The surface of the 
country is undulating and 
is sparsely timbered with 
pine and willow. The rocks are mica-schists and muscovite- 
granite-schists, now largely decomposed to a soft red rock. With 
the schists are found exposures of serpentine, and to the west 
a peculiar metamorphosed dolomitic limestone (listvenite) con- 
sisting of magnesite, siderite, and calcite. The schists are 
traversed by a network of almost vertical microgranitic (beresite) 
dykes, which appear to be connected with the neighbouring 
granite massif of Lake Shartash. The beresites are, as a 
rule, much altered, and vary considerably in character. 

Fig. 86. Plan of Gold-bearing Quartz Veinlets, 


granite) Dykes, Berezovsk, Urals (Posepny). 

a Stahl, Chem. Centralblatt, II, 1897, p. 58. 

6 Von Arzruni, Zeit. deutsch. geol. Gesell., XXXVII, 1885, p. 873. 

RUSSIA. 203 

They range in width from 6 to 130 feet. a Many of the larger 
beresite dykes show a more or less parallel arrangement, and 
some are persistent for a length of more than 5 miles (8 km.). 
They are traversed from wall to wall by numerous nearly vertical 
veinlets of gold-quartz of a thickness of a few inches to 3 J feet. 
Ordinarily, veins do not go beyond the beresite, but they are 
occasionally found in the schists beyond the dyke wall. The 
origin of the vein-fissures has been ascribed by Posepny to 
contraction of the intrusive rock on cooling, an explanation that 
has generally been accepted. Purington,^ however, shows that 
two systems of Assuring traverse the whole series, but that these 
fissures, owing to physical conditions, are developed much more 
strongly in the microgranitic dykes than in the adjacent meta- 
morphic rocks. The fissures strike either N. 80 E. or N. 30 W. In the 
neighbourhood are basic dykes that carry no ore, and show no 
evidence of having been crossed by the above-mentioned fissures. 
Purington, therefore, concludes that ore-impregnation was contem- 
poraneous with or was directly consequent on the intrusion of the 
basic dykes. He further shows that the gold-deposits of the Urals 
are remarkably coincident with the distribution of the basic rocks 
of the region. 

The gold-quartz of Berezovsk is sometimes compact, sometimes 
porous, and generally contains pyrite. Gold is found either free in 
the quartz, or contained in the pyrite. Associated minerals are 
numerous : chalcopyrite, covellite, galena, magnetite, aikinite 
(copper-bismuth sulphide), tennantite, and tetrahedrite, with deriva- 
tive minerals. The quartz often contains acicular crystals of a 
pale green tourmaline, disposed at right angles to the walls. The 
pyrite may contain from 1 J dwts. to 1 ounce gold per ton, and assays 
of even 8 ounces per ton have been obtained. The general 
tenor of the Berezovsk veins is some 8 J dwts. (13 grammes) 
per metric ton. The placers of Berezovsk lie on the same rocks 
that contain the gold-quartz veins. 

Since 1885, the auriferous veins of Pychminsk, 4J miles (7 km.) 
north-east of Berezovsk, have also been worked. The country of 
the veins is listvenite (magnesite, calcite, and breunerite) and ser- 
pentine arranged in more or less parallel bands, all being traversed 
by dykes of microgranite, quartz-porphyry, and felsite. Numerous 
gold-quartz veins occur almost entirely in the intrusive porphyry 
(diorite of Posepny) and, like the veins in the beresite of Berezovsk, 
do not extend appreciably into the enclosing country, but lie trans- 

Karpinsky, Guide du VII Congres Geolog. Internat., V, 1897, p. 42 ; Posepny. 
Archiv. fur prakt. Geol., II, 1895, p. 499. 

b Eng. Min. Jour., June 13, 1903, p. 894. 

204 EUROPE. 

versely across the dykes. The thickness of the veins is from 2 to 3 
feet. The gold is accompanied by pyrite, chalcopyrite, galena, and 
their oxidation products. The tenor of the ore varies from J dwt. 
to 7 ounces per ton, while the average during the five years prior to 
1898 was 17i dwts. (27 grammes) per metric or short ton. a 

The placers of Sysertsk and Kyshtimsk further south have 
yielded notable quantities of crystallized gold. 6 (Figs. 13-34.) 
Succeeding these, but after a considerable interval, come the 
important deposits of the Miask district, where the auriferous 
placers are exceedingly numerous and were formerly of considerable 
richness. They have furnished many large nuggets, the heaviest 
found in 1842 weighing 1,158 ounces (36 kg.). 

In the neighbourhood of Tcheliabinsk and some 10 to 13 miles 
south-west of that town, gold-quartz veins are worked in a highly 
dynamo-metamorphosed hornblendic granite. In the region there 
are also found beresite, porphyries, diabase, and tuff. The country 
is highly faulted and the lodes are filled with brecciated matter 
traversed by white opaque quartz stringers and veins ranging from 
8 inches to 1\ feet in thickness. The oxidised zone extends to a 
depth of 100 to 130 feet. At lower depths sulphides and arsenides 
make their appearance. The tenor of the ore varies from 1J to 6| 
dwts. per ton, with occasional enrichment to an ounce per ton. In 
the Verkhny -Uralsk district the principal mines are those of Semio- 
nowski-Prisk, north of the town of Verkhny- Uralsk. The region 
was originally worked for placer gold, but now produces nearly 
all its gold from a talcose and dolomitic schistose zone of alteration 
products that lies between serpentine and fine-grained peridotite.^ 
Lenses of clean white quartz occur within the schistose zone, but are 
always barren, and the gold of the lode is distributed mainly through 
the talcose-schist band in the crushed zone. The outcrop ore was 
very rich, yielding as much as 3 ounces per pound (6 pfund per pood). 
The first year of mining produced 5,266 ounces (163-808 kg.) gold. 
A similar occurrence is met with at Kamyschak, where the talcose 
zone lies between serpentine and hornblende-schist. The talcose 
rock is apparently derived from the weathering of the serpentine. 
The tenor of the ore here, as in the foregoing occurrence, diminishes 
materially in depth. Tschernychew c describes a gold-bearing lode 
in the Poliakowski mountains, near Balbuk, in which the gold is 
finely disseminated through the mass of the serpentine and quartz 

11 Karpinsky, loc. cit. sup. 

h Rose, G., " Reise, &c," 1842, II, p. 156. 

c Posepny, loc. cit. sup. 

d Futterer, Zeit. fur prakt, Geol., 1897, p. 388. 

e Mem. du. Com. Geol., Petersburg, III, No. 4, 1889, p. 389. 



veins are entirely absent. Quartz veins in the neighbourhood, 
however, carry fine gold. The degradation of these rocks and veins 
has furnished much alluvial gold. At Absakowa, west of 

C' Placer Workings 
JT Ve id Mines 

Fig. 87. Geological Sketch Map of the Neighbourhood of Miassk {Tschemycheu}). 

S. Crystalline schist. SI Slate. G. Granite and syenite. D. Diorite and diabase. 

Tf. Greenstone tuff. Sp. Serpentine. 

Verkhni-Uralsk, auriferous calcite veins containing serpentine 
inclusions lie in serpentine near its contact with a grey meta- 

206 EUROPE. 

morphic schist." The gold often occurs as thin films in the cleavage 
planes of the calcite, and also in the schistose Assuring of the adjacent 
serpentine. Numerous similar poor and narrow veins occur on 
the eastern slopes of the southern Urals. 

The Kotchkar mines lie 50 miles south-west of Miass. Its 360 
to 400 auriferous veins lie on the upper waters of the Kotchkara, 
Tchornaia, Osseika, Kamenka, and Sanarka.^ The exploitation of 
gold in this region dates from 1844, when placers were discovered 
in the southern portion of the region. The veins of the region were 
first opened up between 1863 and 1867. In 1897 these veins were 
yielding from 42,000 to 45,800 ounces (1,300 to 1,425 kg.) gold 
annually, while the annual placer yield was only from 9,600 to 
11,250 ounces (300 to 350 kg.). The total production of the field 
from 1844 to 1897 was about 1,512,979 ounces (47,060 kg.), of which 
808,894 ounces (25,160 kg.) was placer gold. The greater number 
of veins are enclosed within an area of 20 square miles. The country 
of the veins is a fine-grained grey granitic rock, the beresite of 
many writers. Owing to intense dynamic metamorphism, schists 
have been produced in the granite along zones of shearing. The 
intermediate bands of granite are quite solid, and show no signs of 
schistosity. The gold-quartz veins lie along these schistose zones, 
and in strike are generally parallel with them. According to 
Purington, c auriferous impregnation is here directly connected with 
the occurrence of two peridotite stocks. Around the more southerly 
of the two the richer veins are grouped. The width of the lode 
channels may range from 3 to 20 feet, but that of the quartz 
stringers themselves is only from 1 to 4 inches. The schistose zones 
may be only a few feet apart, or may be separated by hundreds of 
feet. The gangue of the veins is a grey opaque quartz that is often 
chalcedonic or chloritic. Associates of the gold are mispickel, 
pyrite, galena, and stibnite. The average tenor of the quartz is 
3 to 8 J dwts. per metric ton. Occasionally, the walls are sufficiently 
impregnated with auriferous pyrites to be worth working. Expe- 
rience has shown that a considerable amount of secondary enrichment 
has taken place near the surface, with a consequent formation of 
rich pockets. The average tenor of the Ouspensky outcrop ore, for 
example, has been nearly 2 ounces per ton. This mine was in 1898 
the best developed in the district, with a shaft 400 feet deep. It 
had to that year produced 570,000 gold out of a total Kotchkar 
product of 5,833,000. The Troitzk mine, operated by an English 

a Futterer, loc. cit., p. 339. 

" Wyssotsky, Guide du VII Congres Geo!. Internat., VI, p. 2 ; NitzeandPurington, 
Trans. Am. Inst. M.E., XXVIII, 1898, p. 24. 

c Eng. Min. Jour., June 13, 1903, p. 894. 

RUSSIA. 207 

company, lies in this district. This mine, from October 28th, 1906, 
to January 13th, 1908, milled 37,629 tons ore for 8,830 ounces fine 
gold worth 37,268, the ore milled being of a tenor of almost exactly 
1 per ton. 

The Orsk goldfields mark the southern limit of the gold 
occurrences of the Urals. Several placer deposits are worked. 
The gold-quartz veins appear to occur in intrusive basic rocks, 
as diorite or diabase-porphyrite, or in tuffs of similar rocks. a An 
English company operating in this district was in 1907 producing 
500 to 750 ounces per month, but ceased operations in 1908. 

Reviewing the auriferous deposits of the Urals, it may be said 
that they are disposed mainly along the eastern flanks of those 
mountains. The metamorphic rocks underlying the placers are 
gneisses, schists, phyllites, and quartzites, with occasional calcareous 
and dolomitic members in the crystalline schists. The massive 
rocks are granite, syenite, quartz-porphyry, felsite, diorite, gabbro, 
norite, diabase, porphyrite, and pyroxenite. Nearly all have been 
subjected to intense dynamic metamorphism. The gold in the 
northern portion is associated with acidic intrusive rocks (micro- 
granite or beresite), while in the south the association is rather with 
basic rocks : diorites, serpentines, peridotites, &c. The evidence 
available shows that the gold disseminated through the serpentines 
is to be regarded as an entirely secondary impregnation, and not 
as a primary constituent of the serpentine. 

The placers of the Urals are fairly uniform in character. Their 
average thickness is only from 1 J to 3 feet, with a maximum of 1 2 to 
14 feet. Their average length is from 20 to 50 yards, and may reach 
one-third of a mile. The Petchanka placer in the Bogoslovsk district 
had, however, a total length of 8 miles. The average width may 
be estimated at from 20 to 45 yards. They are occasionally covered 
by a thin soil, but more ordinarily lie buried beneath a barren bed 
of peat and soil (tourbe), which may vary in thickness from a few feet 
to 65 feet or more. The pay-streak usually rests on hard, little- 
decomposed rock (plotik), and rarely* on a " false bottom." Every 
thalweg and stream bed lying on crystalline rocks with auriferous 
veins, may contain auriferous alluvial gravels. The richness of the 
placers does not, however, always depend on the nature of the 
adjacent rocks ; the richest are apparently those derived from 
dioritic or talcose crystalline schist areas, while those arising from 
the denudation of gneiss, granite, or mica-schist are much poorer. 
The distribution of the gold within the pay-streak is very irregular, 
rich layers, and poor bands alternating in most cases. The general 
tenor of the workable Ural placers lies between 10 and 50 grains 

a Tschernyckew, Russ. min. Gesell., XXIX, 1892, p. 225. 



per cubic yard. Higher values are rarely met with, and then only in 
very restricted areas. Nevertheless, tenors of 500 ounces per ton 
have been reached. The heaviest nugget obtained in the Urals 
was that already mentioned as weighing 1,158 ounces (36 kg.). It 
came from the Tzarevo-Alexandrovski placer in the Miass district. 
The gold in the pay-streak is almost always accompanied by magne- 
tite, more rarely by ilmenite and chromite. Platinum is often 
recovered with the gold. Zircon, disthene, and diamonds have also 
been found in the wash. The total length of the Ural placer region, 
from 50 miles north of Bogoslovsk in the north to near Orsk in the 
south, is more than 660 miles. 

It is somewhat difficult to obtain separate returns for European 
and for Asiatic Russia. Those available are fragmentary, and 
often conflicting. The following table gives the available yields 
for recent years of the Russian Empire : a 






































* Rep. Dir. U.S. Mint, Washington, 1907. 

For the Urals alone the annual gold yield appears to vary 
between 250,000 and 300,000 ounces, being in 1900, 291,235 ounces ; 
in 1902, 281,742 ounces ; and in 1903, 264,898 ounces. 

Caucasus. The streams of the Caucasus, the land of the Golden 
Fleece of Jason and of the Argonauts, have been found singularly 
deficient in auriferous deposits in recent centuries. The existence 
of gold has been proved in isolated districts, but nothing beyond the 
merest traces have been obtained. The Rion river, supposed to be 
the Phasis of the ancients, was, together with its tributaries, care- 
fully, but fruitlessly, prospected for gold in 1854. 6 Nevertheless, the 
upper waters of the Rion, 60 miles east of Sukhum-Kale on the 
Black Sea, are marked as auriferous on the map of the mineral 
districts of Russia compiled by de Moeller. c Other gold-gravels are 
situated respectively north and east of the lake of Gotcha, along the 
mountain ranges between the Kur and Arax rivers, or, measuring 

a Dipl. and Consl. Reports, 1900-1907. 

b Ann. des. Mines, Ser. 5, III, 1853, p. 830. 

c St. Petersburg, 1878. 

Russia. 209 

from another centre, at spots some 50 miles south and west 
respectively of Elizabethpol. Bogdanovitch a records the occur- 
rence of gold and silver midway between Nukha and Kuba on the 
slopes of the great Shalbuz-Dagh mountain. 

a Mem. Geol. Com. Russ., XIX, 1902. 





As early as 1820 alluvial gold-gravels were being worked in the 
Altai region. Eighteen years later all Siberia, with the exception 
of the Altai and the Nerchinsk circles, still retained as the 
personal property of the Tsar, was thrown open to public enterprise. 
Since 1837 the gold production of Siberia for the periods given below 
has been as follows : 

Ounces (Crude). 

Ounces (Crude). 



















a 1888 1897 




The present annual yield of Siberia may be estimated at 
800,000 to 900,000 ounces of gold. 

For convenience of description, the auriferous areas of 
Siberia are enumerated -as follows from west to east : 
Tobolsk- Akmolinsk ; Bokhara (Russian Turkestan) ; Semipalatinsk- 
Semiretchensk ; Tomsk ; Atchinsk-Minusinsk ; South Yenisei ; 
North Yenisei ; Transbaikalia ; Yakutsk (Lena) ; Amur ; and 
Primorskoi (Maritime Province). 

The first three areas are widely separated geographically, each 
group being itself composed of small isolated placers. The Tomsk, 
Atchinsk, and Minusinsk districts, on the other hand, together form 
a compact auriferous district divided only politically, and lying, 
for the most part, south of Krasnoiarsk, a town on the Yenisei river 
and also on the Trans-Siberian Railway. North of this area, on the 
right bank of the Yenisei, and between the Podkamennaia-Tunguska 
and the Angara tributaries, lies the Yenisei group. With the excep- 
tion of the western portion of Transbaikalia, lying south of the south- 
western end of Lake Baikal, all the remaining districts (Eastern 
Transbaikalia, Lena, Amur, and Primorskoi) form one con- 
tinuous auriferous area stretching east as a fairly narrow band 
from Lake Baikal to the south-western shores of the Sea of Okhotsk. 

a Glasser, Annales des Mines, XVIII, Ser. IX, 1900, p. 9. 


This belt may be termed the Eastern Siberian field, all the other 
districts to the west forming the less important Western Siberian 
field. The following comparative table shows the yields in average 
years of these two areas : 




Eastern Siberia 

Western Siberia 




The Siberian placers are Recent or Pleistocene. They 
are all above sea level, ranging as high as 1,850 feet in the 
Alatau mountains, and to 2,300 feet in the valleys of the Olekma, 
and in the Yenisei district. Many, especially in the Lena district, 
and in the Zeia branch of the Amur, are contained in or are covered 
by perpetually frozen gravel. Of late years, considerable progress 
has been made in dredging in the Urals and in Siberia. During 
1906-7 there were in all some 40 dredges at work in the Russian 
Empire. Returns were obtained for the working season of 1906 
from 32 of these. The aggregate amount of gold and platinum 
recovered by dredging was 43,081 ounces, of which 36,609 ounces 
were gold, and 6,472 ounces were platinum. The largest individual 
return came from a dredge in the Ural district, that saved during 
the season of 175 days, 3,328 ounces from 207,970 cubic yards. 
Dredging operations have, on the whole, been unprofitable, owing 
apparently to defective machinery and to lack of experience. The 
average yield per dredge calculated from 32 dredges giving returns 
for 1906 is as follows : a 

Working days of season ... ... ... ... 173 

Working hours of season ... ... ... ... 2,837 

Gravel washed ... ... ... cubic yards 159,537 

Gold and platinum extracted ... ...ounces 1,346 

Average yield per cubic yard ... ... grains 4-2" 

Tobolsk-Akmolinsk. The placers .of the Tobolsk- Akmolinsk 
district are grouped in a small area to the east-south-east of the 
village of Kokchietav, which lies about 170 versts (113 miles) south 
of Petropaulovsk. They are neither extensive nor rich. 

Bokhara. The Bokhara khanate lies immediately to the north 
and north-east of Afghanistan. Its gold deposits have been washed 
for centuries by the Sarts, the semi-nomadic inhabitants of 
the region. The known auriferous placers lie in Eastern Bok- 
hara, along the courses of the Wahsch, Kizil-Su, Mazar-Su, 

a Bogovin, Eng. Min. Jour., Aug. 17, 1907. 

^ This figure is given asyl0125 ounces in the original paper. 



Yak-Su, and the Ravno streams, all eventually falling into 
the Panj River on its right or northern bank. The Pan] 
separates Bokhara from Afghanistan. Below its junction with 
the Wahsch, this river is known as the Amu-darya or Oxus. It also 
is auriferous, at least, as far down its course as the " Golden 
Isle," near Awadje, north-east of Balkh. The " Golden Isle " is 
some 165 miles (250 versts) from the high-level gravels that furnish 
the fine gold of the Kizil-Su. 

The general geology of the country is simple. The great moun- 
tain ranges in the east and south-east are areas of metamorphic 

/? " 



* /a ft C H 

Fig. 88. Geological Sketch Map of Auriferous Area, Bokhara (Levat). 

1. Granite, gneiss, and mica-schist. 2. Fusulina limestone (Carboniferous). 3. Trias. 
4. Cretaceous shales. 5. Tertiary clays. 6. Auriferous conglomerates. + Placer-deposits. 

and plutonic rocks, while the lower ranges, together with the plains 
to the north, are made up of little-disturbed and generally horizontal 
Cretaceous and Tertiary strata. The original source of the gold 
appears to have been small veins in the metamorphic schists of the 
Altai mountains. A gold-quartz vein is known and has been 
worked near Dorsch. re During the erosion and degradation 
of these mountains in Eocene times great beds of conglomerates 
with associated placer gold were formed in the lower courses 

a Von Krafft, Zeit. fur prakt. Geol., 1899, p. 37. 


of the mountain streams far from the parent veins. From 
the varied character of the boulders found in the conglomerate 
the then existing streams appear to have drained a large stretch of 
country. The predominant rocks are green diabase-tuff, red 
felso-porphyrite, diorite, porphyritic diabase, porphyrite, gneiss, 
amphibolite, quartz-schist, quartzite, and various sedimentary 
rocks. The cement is calcareous or arenaceous, or at times, calcareo- 
arenaceous. Opinions are divided as to the method of formation 
of the conglomerates, Levat, from whom most of our information 
on this region is derived," being firmly convinced that they are 
glacial in origin. The gold is contained in the cement, nearly always 
as flattened plates, and rarely as nuggets. The tenor of the older 
conglomerates is low, but long-continued erosion and concentration 
by subsequent streams has furnished workable river gravels, both 
high-level and also in the beds of the existing streams. The 
auriferous conglomerates have a considerable development on the 
western flanks of the Darwaz chain, where they cover hundreds of 
square miles. Their maximum thickness is perhaps 2,000 feet. 
The main conglomerate band runs in a north-east direction, from a 
point some 15 miles east of Kolab to the north of Kali-i-khumb, 
where it strikes due east. Two minor bands occur on the east and 
west of the main band, at Ravno and at Obi-Sanghi-Khergov 
respectively. The principal placer workings lie near or on the con- 
glomerate beds in the old river terraces, and in the present stream 
beds. The former, being easily drained, have, as a rule, been 
worked and re-worked many times by the Sarts, and now offer but 
little scope for industrial development. All deposits below water- 
level are virgin, and are apparently fairly rich. At a placer deposit 
leased by M. Pakorski, the overlying gravels already worked by the 
Sarts to a depth of 14 feet (2 sajenes) contained only 1 71 grains per 
cubic yard (2| dolis per 100 poods). At the water-level the gold 
content rises to 20 6 to 27 4 grains per cubic yard (30 to 40 dolis per 
100 poods), while at a depth of 42 feet (6 sajenes) a tenor of 65-78 
grains per cubic yard (1 zolotnik per 100 poods) was reached, and 
even then bed-rock had not been reached. The gold of the 
gravels occurs in small flattened grains. Nuggets of more than 

13 to 16 dwts. (5 to 6 zolotniks) are rare. The gold is from 920 
to 927 fine. 

The washings conducted by Levat showed, on the whole, low 
values. At the Nicholas placer on the Mozar-Su he obtained 

14 4 grains per cubic yard (1-218 grammes per cubic metre); 
at Obi-Sanghi-Khergov, the conglomerate carried usually not 

a Bull. Soc. Geol. de France, II, Series 4, 1902, p. 447 et scq. ; Ann ales des Mines, 
III. Series 10, 1903, p. 201. 

214 ASIA. 

more than 3 grains per cubic yard ( 275 grammes per cubic 
metre). In the Safet-darya the alluvials had been worked 
for some six years prior to 1902 by Russian concessionaires. 
There the lower beds averaged 41 grains per cubic yard 
(6-4 francs per cubic metre). The Russian workings in 1902 
were, however, exceedingly primitive. The Tibi-darya and the 
Sagri-datch placers on tributaries of the Klungau, or Wahsch, gave 
prospects of only 1 -3 grains per cubic yard (20 centimes per cubic 

The native (Sart) methods of working and washing are crude. 
The placers are drained, where possible, by long adit levels, that are 
ventilated by a series of inclined shafts carried down to the drainage 
level from the surface, a new ventilation shaft being sunk on the 
course of the adit whenever the face becomes too far advanced to 
be served by the existing shaft. The gravel is carried by boys from 
the bottom of the inclined shafts to washing trays at the surface, 
where the sand is washed over felts. Sometimes fleeces or camel 
skins are used, in which case the hair of the former is cut to a uniform 
length of 4 inches and the fleece is further often transversely ribbed 
every 2 inches by shaving to the skin for a width of I inch. 
Miniature riffles are thus formed, assisting in the retention of the 
gold. Such a fleece resembles the long-pile velvet strakes com- 
monly used on modern dredges. The minimum earnings of the 
Sarts appear to be sixpence per diem. The gold yield of Eastern 
Bokhara was estimated in 1899 at 20,000 to 30,000 per annum. 8 

Semipalatinsk-Semiretchensk. These districts lie to the north- 
east and south-east respectively of Lake Balkash. The placer 
deposits of the former are disposed along the Irtish River, between 
Lake Zaisan and the town of Ust-Kamenogorsk, south-east of Semi- 
palatinsk. The deposits are thin and poor, and would be unworkable 
were it not for the abundance and cheapness of the Kirghiz labour. 
Gravels containing as little as 4 grains per cubic yard can thus 
be worked. In 1897 about 1,200,000 cubic yards of sand were 
treated for 16,846 ounces of gold, or nearly 7 grains gold per cubic 
yard. More than 5,000 Kirghiz were employed on the various 

The Semiretchensk placers are scattered along the head-waters 
of streams flowing north-west into Lake Balkash. They have no 
present importance. 

Tomsk. The Tomsk mining field includes the Altai and Mariinsk 
districts in Tomsk proper, together with the Atchinsk, Minusinsk, 

a Rickmers Geog. Jour., XIV, 1899, p. 606. 
" Glasser, loc. cit. sup , p. 45. 


and Yenisei districts in Yeniseisk, 
district from 1900-1904 was : a 


The production of this mining 




Total Ounces. 

1900... ( 
1901... J 
1902... 5 
1903... -J 
1904... i 











?- 181,792 
\ 197,049 
\ 145,006 
| 130,305 
\ 130,750 

It therefore appears that the yield from alluvial mining is 
steadily diminishing, while that from quartz mining is increasing. 

Altai. The Altai district lies on the northern slopes of the 
Altai mountains, and near the boundary of Eastern or Chinese 
Turkestan. A great part of the -mineral area is the private property 
of the Tsar, and is administered by the Cabinet. Placers open to 
the public are either on the tributaries of the Abakan, flowing into 
the Yenisei near Minusinsk, or on the tributaries of the Tom 
(Taidon, Ters, Oos, Mras, and Kondom). From these, in 1897, some 
1,280,000 cubic yards of gravel, yielding 48,225 ounces gold, were 
washed. The average tenor was therefore about 18 grains per cubic 

The placers administered by the Cabinet are on the affluents 
of the Biya, a tributary of the Ob. These yield about 5,000 ounces 
per annum. With the Altai district may be taken the Mariinsk dis- 
trict, where gravel deposits are worked on the Kiya and Tela streams, 
tributaries of the Chulim. In this district a quartz vein furnished 
in 1897 about 650 ounces of gold, while in 1904 the Sixth Berikal gold- 
quartz mine crushed 9,477 tons for a yield of 9,460 ounces, and the 
G. M. Miller mine, also in the Mariinsk -district, crushed 4,358^tons 
for 1,934 ounces. 

The following table (Loranski) shows the relative importance of 
the principal streams of the Altai and Mariinsk districts during 
1896 : 

River System. 

Cubic Yards 

Number of Mines. 

Total Yield. 

Value per Cubic- 


Chorni Oos ... 
Byeli Oos 








s. d. 
2 11 

1 8 

2 3 

ft Tovey, Eng. Mm. Jour., Sept. 29, 1906, p. 577. 

216 ASIA. 

The stripping necessary averaged about 10 feet, while the pay- 
dirt varied in depth from 5 to 8 feet. Much deeper gravels occur 
in the Byeli (White) Oos. The working season in this region is from 
the end of April to the end of October, or six months, and is therefore 
longer than in most other parts of Siberia. The bed-rock of the 
placers, as, for example, on the Blagodatny stream, is mica-schist 
intruded by numerous diorite dykes. The gold probably comes 
from minute veinlets in the neighbourhood. At the head of a 
tributary of the Byeli Oos, viz., The Sorela Oos, from which more 
than 1,000,000 of gold was taken in the early days of Siberian gold- 
washing, the mountains are of diorite, but graphitic slates and fine- 
grained porphyries also occur. Gold-quartz veins are numerous in 
the diorite. 

Little, however, can be said about the primary gold deposits 
of the Altai and Mariinsk districts, since up to the present time they 
have been but cursorily examined. Prof. Zaitzeff, in 1900, found 
native gold in diorite at the head of the Fyedorovski stream, a 
tributary of the Chulim river. No quartz vein occurred within 
500 feet of the gold deposit, but there was, quite near, a basic dyke, 
that was perhaps a peridotite. A thousand feet away, productive 
gold-quartz veins have been worked." Korotkoff,^ in describing the 
gold-quartz veins of the Birikoulski mine, Mariinsk district, points 
out the presence of lollingite (Fe As 2 ), together with blende and galena. 
This mine was not discovered until 1901, though its placers had 
yielded abundantly for 15 years previously. 

Atchinsk-Mimisinsk Districts. These are in Southern 
Yeniseisk, south of Krasnoiarsk. They contain several gold- 
quartz mines. In the Atchinsk district the Joannovski (Podvint- 
zeff) veins lie in a fine-grained greenish diabase. The mine is on the 
left bank of the Bezimian stream, a tributary of the Saral-Oos. It 
was discovered in Sept., 1899, and work was commenced on it in 
1900. The first crushings yielded from 350 tons about 22 dwts. per 
ton, a tenor not sustained, since later crushings fell to 16 dwts. 
per ton. The bullion obtained was 788 fine. The lode out-cropped 
on the steep mountain-side, and was from 16 to 23 feet in width, 
but bands of country within the vein reduced the width of 
crushing quartz to 5 to 8 J feet. The quartz is richest nearest the 
walls. Another vein in similar rock occurs in the neighbouring 
Toumani mine. c 

In the basin of the Byeli-Oos, south-east of Tchebaki, is the 
Ivanitzki or Bogom-Darovanni ("Gift of God") mine. It was dis- 
covered in 1896, and from 1898 to May, 1902, had produced 60,000 

Brown, Trans. Amer. Inst. M.E., XXXIV, 1904, p. 786. 

b Bull. Soc. Oural, XXV, 1905, p. 69. 

c Bordeaux, Ann. des Mines, II, Ser. X, 1902, p. 505. 


gold. The vein is in syenite, and carries epidote, calcite, pyrite, 
and carbonates of copper. The auriferous band is from 20 to 23 
feet thick, but the quartz veins within it themselves make up a 
total thickness of only 3 to 10 feet. During the foregoing period 
10,000 metric tons were raised and crushed for a yield of 16,720 
ounces, or a little more than H ounces per ton. In the Minusinsk 
district the principal mines are those of Kuznetzoff, lying about 
midway between the towns of Tchebaki and Minusinsk. The 
Kuznetzoff mines are on a small tributary of the Tibika, which 
itself joins the Uibaka, a tributary of the Yenisei. Numerous 
veins occur, of which the majority are in muscovite-granite. One, 
however, is in a hornblende-mica-gneiss. The majority are small. 
Zaitzeff a groups the veins of the Atchinsk-Minusinsk region into 
two series coursing at right angles, one series running meridionally 
and the other east and west. The Bogom-Darovanni mine of 
Minusinsk (named after that already mentioned of Ivanitzki in 
the Atchinsk district) is one of the best in the region. Its output 
for 1904 was 8,874 tons for 10,649 ounces or 1 2 ounces per ton. 
Wages are low, and labour good. 

Yenisei. The Yenisei auriferous area, as already has been 
stated, lies between the Podkamennaia-Tunguska and the Angara 
rivers, both tributaries on the right bank of the great Yenisei river. 
Explorations were first actively undertaken here in 1840. From 
that year to 1900, a period of 60 years, the Yenisei placers had 
produced about 14,146,000 ounces gold. In 1857, their yield was 
643,000 ounces. Thereafter their decline was rapid, falling in the last 
years of the nineteenth century to 80,000 to 100,000 ounces per 
annum. The decline was due entirely to the exhaustion of the more 
readily accessible placers. At the present time washings are being 
conducted in gravel of a tenor of less than 9 grains per cubic 
yard. In the early days of Yenisei mining the yield per cubic 
yard often rose to 16 dwts. The richest gravels worked in 1897 
were those of the Udoronga Valley, of a tenor of some 2 dwts. per 
cubic yard.k The south Yenisei portion of the above district lies 
between the Great Pit and the Angara rivers. Its placers are 
developed along the upper waters of the various northward-flowing 
tributaries of the Great Pit (Gorbilok, Penchanga, &c), and also 
along the upper courses of the Uderei'a, Udoronga, Fvibnaia, Mourzh- 
naia, and Tatarskaia, all the members of the latter group eventually 
flowing southward to join the Angara. The bed-rock is largely 
composed of argillaceous and quartz-schists, fairly pyritous in bulk. 
Massive granites and diorites also occur. Meister c reports that the 

Centralblatt fur Mineral., XXXIV, 1901, p. 137. 

6 Glasser, Ann. des Mines, XVIII, Ser. IX, 1900, p. 36. 

c Com. Geo!. Russ., I, 1900, p. 8G, Yenisei. 

218 ASIA. 

granites and metamorphic schists of the Uderei'a and Udoronga are 
traversed by diabase dykes. Quartz veins are numerous through the 
country. Some are auriferous, notably in the valley of the Ribnai'a 
north of Ribinskoi, and also on the right bank of the Angara, east of 
Blokhino. They are, however, of fairly low grade, averaging in small 
veins about 8 dwts. per ton. Meister" concluded that the placers 
of the Great and Little Mourozhna'ia, Tchernai'a, Tatarka, and Rib- 
nai'a, had derived their gold from similar veins in the adjacent 
argillaceous schists. The argillaceous schists without pyrite, in 
the region south-west of Yeniseisk, contain no gold, while those 
impregnated with pyrite contain as much as 6 grains per ton (20 
dolis per 100 poods). 

All the placers so far exploited appear to be of recent origin, 
and occupy the bottoms of existing valleys. Generally they are 
shallow, and require but little stripping. The yield per cubic 
yard would appear to vary between 5 and 18 grains. Much of the 
poorer gravel is available for dredging. The native placer industry 
is now of little importance in the Penchanga, Gorbilok, and Ichimba 

The North Yenisei district is situated on the east of the 
Yenisei river in the upper basins of the Tei'a and Kalami rivers, 
tributaries from the south of the lower Podkamenna'ia-Tunguska. 
Its rocks, like those of the southern Yenisei field, are gneisses, mica- 
schists, and amphibolites with ancient sedimentary rocks. These 
are traversed by small dykes of granitite and diabase. Gold-quartz 
veins occur in the schists, but gold is also found in the schist rock 
itself/' In 1902, Jacewski c found that a highly pyritous (1 to 
1-33 per cent.) biotite-quartz-schist of the Teisskai'a Series was 
auriferous to the extent of 14 grains per ton (-00008 per cent.). 
A tourmaline-bearing gneiss yielded 7 grains, while a conglomerate 
with schist pebbles gave from 7 grains to 3 dwts. gold per ton. The 
problem whether the gold lay in the cement or the pebbles remained 
unsolved. The most important placers now being worked in the 
North Yenisei field are in the Tei'a, Enachimo. and Kalami rivers. 
Their production is not great. 

Transbaikalia. The Transbaikalia (Zabaikalskai'a) province 
is situated between Lake Baikal and the Manchurian frontier. The 
minerals of the greater portion of the province are the private 
property of the Tsar. The silver mines of Nerchinsk have been 
worked since 1703. From that year to 1870 they had yielded more 
than 400 tons (422,314 kg.) of silver. With the silver was associated 

f( Ib., Ill, 1902, p. 37, Yenisei. 

b Jacewski, Com. Geol. Russ., I, 1900, p. 33, Yenisei. 

'' Loc. cit. Ill, 1903, p. 78, Yenisei. 


a very small proportion of gold, which, nevertheless, for the same 
period amounted to no less than 43,274 ounces (1,346 kg.). 

Within the province there are three principal gold-quartz 
mining centres, viz., Onon, Nerchinsk, and Chilka. The Onon 
deposits have been described in detail by Levat." They lie in a 
region of slates and shales traversed by numerous igneous rocks, of 
which the chief types are granite, aplite, syenite, diorite, and kersan- 
tite. The gold-quartz veins occasionally pass from the granites 
into the slates. At Khangarok the veins were in 1902 being worked 
by two companies, viz., the Bielogolovi, and the Sabachnikoff at 
Baian-Zurga. The principal veins of the former company are in the 
slates (schists), near their contact with granite, the latter rock 
also containing numerous small veins. The thickness of the main vein 
varies from a few inches to 3 feet. Its tenor may be as high as an 
ounce per ton, but from the following figures its average tenor 
appears to be in the neighbourhood of 7 dwts. From 1879 to 1887. 
66,450 metric tons were treated for 23,627 ounces (727 kg.) gold. 
For the next ten years the mines were closed, but in the five-year 
period of 1897-1901, a further 3,734 ounces gold were obtained, the 
tenor of the quartz varying from 3 h to 7^ dwts. per ton. The vein 
has been worked for a length of 450 feet. The Sabachnikoff Company 
worked a vein at Baian-Zurga, in slate, but also near a granite 
contact. The vein was from 4 inches to 2J feet in thickness and 
appeared to average about 12 J dwts. per ton, 2,446 metric tons in 
1886-7 having produced 1,513 ounces (46,550 kg.). 

A gold-quartz vein has been worked at Oloviannaia, nearer 
Nerchinsk. At Dalmatchik in the Chilka district, north of Nerchinsk 
an auriferous syenitic vein occurs in the granite. b Along the contact 
of the two rocks there runs a thin vein of galena. The auriferous 
band varies in thickness from 2 to 8 feet, and appears to be worth 
about 17 dwts. per ton. 

The Kluchi mine is worked by a subsidiary company of the 
Nerchinsk G.M. Co., the latter holding a general concession from the 
Private Cabinet of the Tsar. The lode formation consists of a highly 
altered and silicified quartz-porphyry, mineralised with pyrite and 
gold. From July, 1905, to the end of Aug., 1906, 5,214 tons treated 
gave 2,420 ounces with tailings reported to average 8 dwts. 9 grains, 
indicating a total tenor of 17 dwts. 16 grains per ton. 

Auriferous placers are scattered throughout the Transbaikalia 
province. The majority have been known for many years. In 1897, 
more than two-thirds of the total gold produced (77,803 ounces) 
came from the Emperor's private mines, of which 10 were being 

a " L"or en Siberie orientale," Paris, I, 1897. 

b Bordeaux, Ann. des Mines, II, Ser. X, 1902, p. 537. 



worked. They yielded 56,875 ounces from 600,000 cubic yards, 
or an average yield of 1 9 dwts. per cubic yard. The Cabinet placers 
are situated on the tributaries of the lower portion of the Chilka 
(Geltuga, Kara, &c.) ; between the Chilka and Unda (Kazakova, 
Novo-Troi'tzk, Uralguinski, &c.) ; and in the neighbourhood of 
Nerchinsky-Zavod (Burza, &c). Poorer placers belonging to the 
Crown are worked by private individuals on the lower Geltuga. The 
tenor of these is not more than 18 grains to the cubic yard. Those 
worked by and in the possession of private individuals carry even lower 
values (12 to 15 grains per cubic yard). The more important of the 
private mines are the Malomalski placer on the Bystra. where the 
pay-streak lies under 25 feet of cover ; the Chakhtaminsk placer, 
a little further west ; and the placers of the Onon river, immediately 
north of the Mongolian frontier. All the placers are geologically 
of recent origin, and have but little cover. The source of the gold 
is known for the Onon and Ilia deposits, where the gold descends 
from a granite massif in old schists and slates. Working costs are 
low in Transbaikalia, since labour is cheap and abundant. Chinese 
workmen will attack favourably situated gravels containing no more 
than 5 to 6 grains per cubic yard. a 

Yakutsk (Lena). The auriferous portion of the great Yakutsk 
province of Siberia, lies in its south-western corner, in the Lena 
district, and north-east of Lake Baikal. The principal deposits are 
grouped along both slopes of the Krapotkin mountains, which rise 
to a height of 3,000 to 4,000 feet. The auriferous gravels occur in the 
valleys of the head-waters of the Patom and Yonya rivers flowing 
north, and in the Bodaibo and other streams flowing south to the 
Vitim river. They are evidently a northward continuation of the 
Transbaikalian auriferous belt. Work was commenced on the 
Olekma and Vitim placers about fifty years ago, gold being first dis- 
covered by Tungouse hunters. The placers were rapidly developed, 
but, as the following table, giving the yield at five-year intervals, 
will show, appear to be declining in importance under existing 
Siberian methods : 



























The annual yield during the last years of the century would 
therefore appear to have been worth about one and a quarter millions 
sterling. This is largely the produce of a few great companies. 

a Glasser, loc. cit., p. 35. 


The Ivanovski (Vitim) and the Lena companies furnished each 
about 250,000 ; the Prokopeiovski (Bodaibo) about 150,000, &c. 
The last-mentioned mine from 1890 to 1900 inclusive produced 
1,875,000 gold. For the whole region, from 1897 to 1900 inclusive, 
there were treated 4,360,000 cubic yards sand, yielding approxi- 
mately 4,480,000, or a little more than 5 dwts. per cubic yard." The 
bulk of this came from the Bodaibo stream. The alluvium is per- 
petually frozen, and no more than a hundred working days in the 
season may be anticipated.^ 

The rocks of the region are schists and gneiss, with quartzites 
and minor exposures of syenite, aplite, kersantite, and , diorite. 
They are traversed by white lenticular veins of barren^ quartz, 
which nevertheless sometimes contain crystals of galena or pyrite, 
in which case the latter may contain a little gold. Further up the 
Vitim than the rich placers, and near the Orlofka river, gold-quartz 
veins are known at the Tagarak (Kamen) mine, where the gold 
occurs as scales in the quartz. Still higher up in the Vitimkhane, 
north-east of Barguzinsk, thin quartz veins carrying gold occur 
in schists. 

To return, however, to the Olekma- Vitim placers, these are of 
two ages. Pleistocene and Recent. The latter lie in the beds of the 
existing rivers, and are of little importance. The former lie buried 
beneath frozen alluvium of an extraordinary depth. It is never less 
than 65 feet, and may reach 300 feet. It is made up of successive 
beds of clay, mud, and sand. The pay-streak is on bed-rock, and 
is from 2h to 5 feet thick. It is generally a clayey sand, with flat 
angular pebbles, of many rocks, but principally of schist. The gold 
tenor may vary suddenly, in any given placer, from 4 dwts. to If 
ounces per cubic yard. The gold of these ancient deposits is rough, 
coarse, and crystallized (octahedra and cubes), while that of the 
recent gravels is fine and flaky. Nuggets weighing 26 dwts. have 
been found in the Tikhona-Zadonsky placer. Both pyrite and 
pseudomorphs of limonite after pyrite are common in the drift. 

A remarkable light on the origin of the alluvial gold has been 
furnished by the researches of Sementchenko and others. In the 
Nijni placer the Lena Company separated the pay-streak as far as 
possible into its component parts, obtaining : 

60 -9 per cent, sand, pebbles, &c, 

32-6 per cent, clay and mud, yielding 19-3 dwts. of gold per 
cubic yard, 
5 4 per cent, heavy sand, 
1 -09 percent, pyrites, yielding nearly 14 ounces gold per cubic yard. 

a Purington, Min. Jour., April 20, 1907. 

h Glasser, Ann. des Mines, Ser. IX, 1900, XVIII, p. 18. 

222 ASIA. 

while the total loss in separation and remaining in pyrites was 
9| dwts. per cubic yard." Sementchenko has separated and assayed 
the pyrites with equally remarkable results. From the Konstanti- 
novsky placer the pyrites residues yielded 50 - 9 ounces (1,582 grammes) 
gold per metric ton 5 ; from the Kruto'i placer 10-7 ounces (332-87 
grammes) per metric ton. c A further trial on the pyrites of the 
Tikhono-Zadonsky placer gave the same investigator: ,l 

By cyanide . . 9 ounces per metric ton. 

By fire after cyaniding . . 23 7 ,, 

By fire of the whole . . 31 6 

Further analysis of the bullion thus obtained showed that it 
was only 758 fine in gold, the remainder being silver, while alluvial 
gold from the same placers from which the pyrites was gathered 
is on an average 918 fine. Obrutchev and Guerrassimov have 
therefore concluded that much of the Vitim and Olekma gold has 
been derived not from gold-quartz veins, but from the pyrites in 
the schists. 

Amur (Amurskaia). The deposits of this province are to be 
found almost entirely in the valleys of three tributaries of the Amur : 
the Zeiia, Avhich flows into the Amur at Blagovieschensk ; the Bureiia, 
meeting the Amur a little further down stream, and flowing from 
the same direction as the Zei'a ; and the Urmi, which meets the 
main river at Khabarovsk. The last are often known as the Maliy- 
Khigan, from the mountains in which they lie. The following returns 
for 1897 illustrate the then relative richness of the Amur gold- 
fields : 

Zei'a Basin 

Bureia Basin 

Maliy-Khigan Basin 
Head-waters of the Amur 

Ounces. Kg. 









The basin of the Zei'a is therefore by far the most important. 
Its principal auriferous affluents are the Gilyui and the Brianta, 
the latter having as tributaries the Djolon, Ilikhan, and Unakha. 
The first deposits known (in 1867) in this region were those of the 
Djalinda, at the head of the Ur, a tributary of the Zei'a, and also 
those of the Oldoi, in the immediate neighbourhood of the preceding. 
Both these lie to the north of Reinova on the Amur. Their annual 

" Guerrassimov, Com. Geol. Russ., 1904, p. 81, Lena. 

h Loc. cit,, 1901, p. 29, Lena. 

r \h., 1904, p. 81. 

^ Loc. cit. sup., p. 238. 


yield was at first about 97,500 ounces gold. The now more impor- 
tant placers on Gilyui and Brianta rivers were discovered about 1870, 
and their exploration dates from 1875. The working season is here 
slightly longer than on the Lena tributaries, averaging from 100 to 
120 days/' 

The rocks of the Zei'a district are gneiss, amphibolitic schists, 
(accompanied often by eclogite) and granite, together with Jurassic 
and Pleistocene deposits. Gold has been found in lenticular 
veinlets, both in the gneiss and in the schists, and it has further 
been observed that those in the amphibolite schists are richer than 
those in other members of the complex. 6 According, to Ivanov/ 
however, the veins in the gneiss are pegmatitic, containing also mica 
and felspar. They may therefore be compared with the alaskite 
veins or dykes of Spurr from the not greatly dissimilar auriferous 
region of Alaska. The gold of the Jazonof Klad and Dojdlivoi' 
placers on the Unakha, and of the Troitzki, on the Murzinski, is 
derived exclusively, according to Yavorovsky , d from these pegmatitic 

The placers of the Amur region are not deeply buried, 
as on the Lena. They are often less than a yard thick, and 
are covered by 14 to 21 feet of clayey sand. The cover rarefy reaches 
35 feet in thickness. Some of the pay-streaks have been very rich. 
The Leonovski placer on the Djolon produced in two years (1889- 
90) 73,945 ounces gold from 140,800 cubic yards, a yield of 10J 
dwts. per cubic yard. During fourteen years of work, the tenor of 
the wash treated at this placer has been 3| dwts. per metric ton, and 
no less than 401,875 ounces have been recovered. Terrace deposits 
and lacustrine deposits (as high as 400 feet above the present valley 
level) occur in addition to the recent valley placers. The Burei'a 
placers lie in the upper valleys of the Niman, on the opposite side 
of the mountains from those of Amgun (Primorskoi Province). 
Their characters agree with those already described for the Zei'a. 
The deposits of the Mah'y-Khigan are at the head of the Urmi, 
north-north-west of Khabarovsk. They are numerous, but are 
neither extensive nor rich. e 

Primorskoi (Maritime Province). This province, as its 
name, both in Russian and in English, indicates, lies along the 
Pacific sea-board. In the south of the province near Vladivostock 

a Glasser, Ann. des Mines, XVTII, Ser. IX, 1900, p. 21. 

" Yavorovsky, Com. Geol. Russ., 1900, p. 48, Amur. 

c lb., p. 90. 

d lb., 1901, p. 26. 

e For a full description of the Amur placers consult Yavorovsky, St. Petersb. Min. 
Soc, XXXIII, Ser. II, 1896, p. 305 ; and Levat, " L'or en Siberie Orientale," 
Paris, 1897, vol. II. 

224 ASIA. 

are several auriferous occurrences. On the island of Askold, 37 
miles east of Vladivostock, a gold-quartz lode lies between 
quartzites and crystalline rocks. The lode is composed of several 
very thin, generally parallel, veinlets. Normally, there are two 
main veinlets, 1 to 4 inches wide and 12 inches apart. The average 
tenor is 33 dwts. per ton in a shoot from 130 to 160 feet long. Beyond 
the shoot the tenor falls to a little under an ounce for nearly 500 
feet. In depth the veinlets appear to weaken. To 1902 32,000 gold 
had been extracted from the mine. a Another auriferous vein has 
been worked at Nakhoda, 25 miles east of Askold Island, and on the 
mainland. Auriferous placers occur a little distance both to the 
east and west of Vladivostock ; west of Lake Khapka, and along the 
Imani river, but all are of little present importance. 

The placer deposits of the northern portion of the Primorsko'i 
province are, on the other hand, of considerable value. The 
richest are on the head-waters of tributaries of the Amgun, which 
joins the Amur very near Nikolaevsk and the sea. These were 
first worked in 1872, but then yielded little. Towards 1891, richer 
beds were found, especially on the Semi, Kerbi, and Nimelien tribu- 
taries, and for a few years the annual output was some 64,000 
ounces. From 1891 to 1904 the Amgun region produced 739,450 
ounces (23,000 kg.) gold. Other alluvial placers occur near Lakes 
Orel and Tchlia, to the north-west of Nikolaevsk. 

The Kerbi, Nilaw, and Semi, with their various tributaries 
having their sources in the Lesser Chingan mountains, form 
the Upper Amgun auriferous region. Their areas of erosion, 
unlike those of the other rivers of the Amgun system, which flow 
through granite hills, are exclusively in crystalline schists and 
phyllites. In the Semi valley itself the length of the workable 
deposit is 6 J miles, while in its tributary streams 5-9 miles are 
available. In the richest part (Rozhdestvensky) of the valley, 
the auriferous gravels have a total width of nearly half a mile, with 
a workable width of a quarter of a mile. The overburden (torf) is 
about 13 feet, and the pay-gravel (plast) from 5 to 7 feet in thickness. 
In many places, however, and especially in the smaller valleys, 
gold is found in fairly large grains directly under the surface soil. 
The tenor of the pay-gravel is extremely variable. It may vary in 
small patches up to one and even to 3 ounces per cubic yard, but the 
average yield of the gravels hitherto washed has been from H to 8 
dwts. (2-6 to 12 7 grams.) gold per metric ton. The gravel Avashed 
during 1906 had a tenor of 1 to 1 J dwts. (1-9 to 1-6 grams.) gold 
per metric ton. Nuggets weighing from h dwt. to 3 dwts. are 
numerous, and they are occasionally found up to 3 ounces in weight . 

a Bordeaux;, Ann. des Mines, II, Ser. X, 1902, p. 544. 


The largest found weighed nearly 26 ounces. The gold found is often 
crystallized, with sharp, well-defined edges. Its fineness varies from 
910 to 952." All the Primorskoi placers hitherto discovered 
have been Pleistocene in age. They appear to have derived 
their gold from gneisses and crystalline schists. 

Scattered auriferous deposits occur further north, along the 
shores of the Sea of Okhotsk south-west of Port Ayan ; at Okhotyek ; 
and at the base of the Taigonoskai'a Peninsula. Gold also occurs in 
limited quantities in Kamchatka itself (Lat. 55 N. and Long. 
127 E.). Bogdanovitch and Lemiakin found auriferous gravels near 
Ayan on the banks of the Aikaschra river. These were made up 
of the debris of volcanic rocks and carried nuggets of fine gold.^ 

Recent explorations, instigated by the discovery of the extremely 
rich placer deposits of the neighbouring Seward Peninsula in Alaska, 
have led to the discovery of auriferous alluvial gravels near Cape 
Deshneff (East Cape) on the Chukchi Peninsula, the most easterly 
land projection of Asia. They occur on the Thunilthan river, not far 
from its mouth, and a few miles south-west of Cape Deshneff. 
The bed-rock is metamorphic, mainly mica-schist and clay-schist. 
The gravels are not very rich, averaging perhaps only 6 grains per 
metric ton. Their value is therefore, to judge from present informa- 
tion, inconsiderable. 


Numerous small veins of auriferous mispickel are found in 
western Asia Minor, especially in the neighbourhood of Mount Tmolos, 
on the northern slopes of which, near Sardis, were the streams of 
the golden Pactolus of the Greek historians. Their sands are 
reputed to have furnished the wealth of Croesus, but their 
gold content, probably never great, despite the stories of the 
ancient writers, was exhausted long before the Christian era. The 
strongest mispickel vein observed in this neighbourhood was of 
low-grade quartz 15 feet wide, but the majority are smaller 
and richer. The gold content varied from a trace to a little over 
three ounces, but none of the richer veins were sufficiently large or 
permanent to warrant working.^ 

North of the Bay of Smyrna, and in the neighbourhood of the 
Dardanelles, extensive ancient workings have been discovered. 
Those at Serdjiller, 12 miles from the Dardanelles, correspond 

a Maier, Zeit. fur prakt. Geol., XIV, 1906, p. 101. 

b Zeit. fiir prakt. Geol., IV, 1896, p. 456. 

c Korsuchin, Zeit. fiir prakt, Geol, XIV, 1906, p. 380. 

d Thorns, Trans. Amer. Inst. M.E., XXVIII, 1898, p. 216. 

226 asia. 


fairly closely with the site of the ancient Astyra. The country of the 
old workings is mica-schist overlain and intruded by Lower Tertiary 
igneous rocks. These latter were termed "trachyte " by Tchihatchef 
(1867), but have been referred by Diller, English, and Elett, & 
to liparites, mica- and hornblende-andesites, augite-andesite, 
and basalt. The andesites were usually much decomposed. 
There would thus appear to be some analogy, and indeed 
a possible genetic connection between this auriferous area 
and those of Transylvania and of Eastern Servia. The 

quartz veinlets in the volcanic rocks carry argentiferous galena, 
blende, pyrite, chalcopyrite, stibnite, and a little free gold. The 
gold content is, however, very low. The mines north of Smyrna 
were opened up by an English company in 1900, but though a con- 
siderable sum was spent no gold was obtained. 

The only important gold mines in Asia Minor are those of 
Bulgar Ma'aden in the Boulgar Dagh mountains. (Long. 
32 20' E. ; Lat. 37 25' N.) Their rocks appear from Tchi- 
hatchef 's map (1867) to be Lower Tertiary sedimentaries, with 
dolerite in the vicinity. The veins are galeniferous, yielding 21 per 
cent, of lead. The smelted lead may carry as much as 296 ounces 
silver and 2| ounces gold per ton. The yield of the mines for 1901 
was 401 tons litharge, 263,983 ounces silver, and 343 ounces gold. c 
These mines are worked under a Turkish iracle of 1 821 by the peasants, 
but are nevertheless the property of the Crown. The buying of the 
produce is a Government monopoly, the Government giving 
12| piastres (2s. 7d.) for each dirhem (2 dwts.) of gold (?). rf 

South of Trebizond, at Gumesh-Khana (Long. 39 25' E. ; Lat. 
40 30' N.) are auriferous silver mines, apparently associated with 
igneous rocks. Alluvial gold occurs in the Dumludagh range, north 
of Erzeroum (a diorite area on Tchihatchef 's map). 


No gold mines are known to exist in Arabia. The only available 
information is a statement of Capt. Burton that gold is to be found 
near Muwaylah in the Hejaz district. 6 

Q.J.G.S., XXXIX, 1883, p. 627. 

b lb., LX, 1904, pp. 254-276. 

c Simmersback, Zeit. Berg-Hiitten und Sal. Wesen, LII, 1904, p. 540. 

d Wylie, Cons. Rep., 1907. 

e Burton, " The Gold Mines of Midian," London, 1878. 



Persia also appears to be devoid of important auriferous 
deposits. In 1899 a British company was formed to work the 
metalliferous deposits of the country. Its operations resulted 
in failure. Old gold placers, now exhausted, occur between 
Nishapur and Meshed in the Binalud mountains. The copper veins 
of Far Daod, near Bosmishk, are said to have yielded 7 dwts. gold 
per ton/' Gold is said to occur in the granite and crystalline schist 
of the Elwund mountain, near Hamadan (the ancient Ecbatana) ; in 
the vicinity of Teheran and Shah Abdul Azim ; and near Galugo.^ 
Veins in mica-schist were formerly worked near Meshed in the 
Binalud mountains. Ancient gold washings are reported from 
Kawend, west of Zengan and south-west of Reshd. c 


Gold is absent from Baluchistan, so far as is known at present. 
In Seistan, to the north of Baluchistan proper, and towards the 
south-west corner of Afghanistan, gold may possibly occur, for old 
Mahommedan records, in other respects fairly accurate, relate that 
a vein of gold was found there in 998 a.d., and was worked until the 
reign of Musaud (1031-1042 a.d.), when it was destroyed by an 


Gold, both vein and alluvial, has long been worked in Afghanis- 
tan. Gold-quartz veins, apparently forming a stockwork, occur 
three miles north of Kandahar city. They traverse a zone 
of contact between hippuritic limestone and trap (andesite ?). 
The country is greatly decomposed, so much so that it is impossible 
from the examination of the specimens collected in 1880 and now 
deposited in the Calcutta Museum, to determine definitely the 
original nature of the rock. It is probably, however, to be 
grouped with the intrusive Eocene andesitic or dioritic rocks that 
occur elsewhere in Afghanistan. The gold is coarse, and generally 
lies in vughs. e An immense number of veinlets run through the rock, 

a Hennecke, Zeit. fur Berg-Hutt. und Sal. Wesen, XLVII, 1899, p. 272. 

b Tietze, Jakrb. Geol. Reichanst., XXIX, 1879, p. 648. 

c Scliindler, lb., XXXI, 1881, pp. 171, 179, 188. 

* Briggs, " Mahommedan Power in India," I, p. 33. 

e Bellew, " From the Indus to the Tigris," London, 1874, pp. 137-140 ; Griesbach, 
Memoirs Geol. Surv. India, XVIII, 1880, p. 8G. 

228 asia. 

and pieces of gold as large as an almond have been picked out. 
The mine was discovered in 1860, and yielded well for the first two 
or three years. Later, it was farmed out for Rs. 5,000 (500) per 
annum. The annual return was said to be 1,000, but the mine was, 
nevertheless, worked only at intervals. Work ceased when the 
open-cast pit had reached a depth of 80 feet. At that depth the 
sides fell in and killed the workmen, who were notoriously 
unskilled miners. 

Alluvial gold is reported from the Hazara country ; from the 
neighbourhood of Istalif , about 20 miles north of Kabul ; and from 
the Kohistan country generally, but the quantity obtained is 
probably insignificant. Deposits analogous to those already 
described north of the Panj river, in Bokhara, may also be 
reasonably expected to occur to the south of that territorial 


Tibet is the only one of the world's goldfields now remaining 
closed to modern enterprise, and even to scientific examination. 
The vast gold-bearing area of south-western Tibet stretches east- 
south-east from Rudok, near the Ladakh frontier, towards the 
Zilling Cho, with an indefinite extension towards the north, but 
certainly as far as the northern slopes of the Kuen-Lun Mountains. 
No mining engineer has seen its workings, no geologist has examined 
its rocks. The following is believed to comprise the sum of our 
available information on the gold deposits of the region. 

The earliest positive reference to Tibetan gold is contained in the 
' Kitabu-1-Akhbar " of 'Ubaidu-1-lah {circa 900 a.d.). He quotes 
the old tradition of the invasion of Tibbat (Tibet) by the Hamiri 
rulers of Yemen in Arabia. One Sabit, their viceroy, was incited 
thereto by the following passage from a letter describing the country 
of Tibbat : " One of the Tubba'yawa (the rulers of Yemen) set out 
towards the east, and used great efforts until he reached a country, 
the verdure of which was gold, and its earth musk, and its herbage 
incense, its game the musk deer, its mountains snow, and its plains 
most pleasant." Needless to say, Sabit went, and, according to the 
chronicle, found that it was so. 

The first European traveller to Central Asia of whose journey 
a record has been preserved, was William de Rubruquis, a Fleming 
born near Brussels, who was sent in 1253 a.d. on a Papal mission 
to the Tartars. He was himself never nearer Tibet than Karakoram, 
but mentions having at that place met one William Bourchier, a 

" Maclaren, Min. Jour., LXXI, 1907, p. 826. 

TIBET. 229 

Parisian goldsmith, who had resided for some time in Tibet at the 
gold mines of " Bocol." It is probable, as Sandberg suggests, that 
"Bocol" is identical with Bokalik (Long. 91 E., Lat. 36 28' N,), 
where both Carey and Bonvalot report gold diggings. Seventy-three 
years later Lhasa itself was visited by Friar Odoric of Pordenone. 
In his narrative, which was dictated in Padua in 1330 a.d., and 
which, together with that of Rubruquis, supplied the compiler of 
" The Travels of Sir John Mandeville " with much of his material, 
there is no mention of gold in Tibet, but as the friar's route from 
China did not pass by any goldfields now known, the omission 
has no great significance. The famous Marco Polo was never in 
Tibet itself, but travelled both to the north in Chinese Turkestan, 
and to the east and south-east in China, and merely reports the 
existence of gold in Tibetan territory. 

We turn again to a Mussulman chronicle, the " Tarikh-i- 
Rashidi " of the Mirza (Prince) Muhammed Haidar, a viceroy of 
Tashkend, who, proclaiming a, jehad, led, about 1530, an expedition 
into Tibet. Haidar's avowed object was to burn and utterly 
destroy Usang or Ursang (Lhasa), a seat of infidel error, and so an 
accursed object in the sight of all true believers. He failed signally, 
defeated by the Arctic rigour of the country, and, with a few fol- 
lowers, finally escaped with difficulty. His chronicle is somewhat 
discursive, but the words of the translator" are here quoted : 
" Among the astonishing things of Tibbat, one is the gold mines. 
In most places frequented by the Canbahs (the nomads of Tibet) 
there are gold mines ; indeed, in most of the Tibbat territory there 
is gold. Among these are two wonderful mines. One is in what is 
called Altun-ei-Tibbat (golden Tibet ?) by the Mughals, in which 
some septs of the Dolbah Canbahs, or nomads, work, but on account 
of the excessive coldness of the air they are not able to work more 
than forty days in each year. The shafts open on level ground in 
such wise that a person can enter thein ; they are numerous, and 
most of them lead one into the other. It is affirmed that as many 
as three hundred families at a time continue at all times to dwell in 
these shafts or holes. ... In them, likewise, they do not burn 
any oil, only clarified fat of sheep, in which no tallow is contained. 
They bring the earth in sieves to the mouths of the shafts, and wash 
it, and it is said that from one sieveful of earth as much as ten misqals 
on an average are produced." The modern Persian misqal weighs 
approximately 4-6 ounces, so that either an ancient misqal or 
one of another locality weighing much less was used. Raverty 
estimates the misqal at 1-|- drams, and this, again, may be either 
41 grains or 90 grains, according to whether avoirdupois or 

a Raverty, Jour. As. Soc. Beng., LXIV, 1895, p. 92. 

230 .ASIA. 

apothecaries' weights are indicated. The Mirza goes on to describe 
the methods : " The same person digs out the earth, brings it out, 
and washes it himself ; and in the course of a day can fill and wash 
twenty sievesful. Although this matter has not been verified and 
tested by me, nevertheless the statement agrees in every way with 
the reports current in Tibbat, and therefore it has been recorded 
here. Another territory is Kokah, which contains some two 
hundred forts. Its length is three days' journey ; and there is 
gold to be found in every part of it. They dig out a certain quantity 
of earth, and spread it out on the face of a cured hide, and pick out 
the gold therefrom, which is in grains. Some of these grains are of 
the size of lentils or peas, and it is said that nuggets sometimes of 
the size of an egg and even of the size of a sheep's liver, or even 
larger, are found." 

We have, indeed, in the " Tabaqat-i-Nasiri " a reference to a 
very large nugget. Among the presents sent to the Sultan Mahom- 
med by Genghis Khan was a nugget of pure gold "as big as a camel's 
neck, which had been brought from the mountain range of Tamghaz, 
so that it was necessary to convey that piece of gold upon a cart." 
Tamghaz is possibly the Kuen-Lun mountain range. To resume the 
Mirza's narrative : " At the time that I, the writer of these pages, 
fixed a capitation tax on the Kokah chiefs, they related that only a 
short time before, a labourer was excavating in a certain part when 
the implement he was using became so firmly fixed in a place that 
with all his efforts he was unable to withdraw it again. He removed 
the earth from around, and what does he behold but a large stone, 
and embedded in the middle of it was gold, and the spade firmly 
fixed therein. Leaving it just as it was, lie went away, and informed 
the Hakim, or Governor, of the matter, when that functionary and 
those then present with him went in a body to the spot, and took hold 
of the mass, broke the stone, and 1,500 misqals of pure Tibbati gold 
were extracted from it, each misqal of that part being a misqal and 
a half of the usual weight. The gold of Kokah which they extract 
from the earth is, indeed, so pure that however much it may be 
assayed and tested, the only loss which arises is that of the right of 
the fire (i.e., what is lost in treating and melting) ; and this fact is 
considered astonishing and wonderful by travellers and gold- 
smiths, and probably nowhere else in the world can such a thing be 
pointed out." 

In 1665, Francois Bernier, who was then in Kashmir in atten- 
dance on the Emperor Aurungzebe, relates in letters to Paris a 
conversation with the ruler of the countries now known as Ladakh 
and Little Tibet. " I heard him say that his countrv on the east did 
confine with great Tibet ; that it was 30 or 40 leagues broad ; that 
there was, indeed, some little crystal musk, and wool, but for the 

TIBET. 231 

rest very poor, and that there were no gold mines as was said " 
a most politic statement when made to a Mughal Emperor. To 
Bernier's fellow-countryman, Jean Baptiste Tavernier, the tattling 
jewel merchant, we are indebted for much of our information con- 
cerning the India of the seventeenth century ; but he merely 
records the rumour of gold in Tibet, incidentally, however, drawing 
a picture which must have tantalised his fellow jewel merchants 
in Paris. " Toward the Thibet, which is the ancient Caucasus, 
in the territories of a Raja, beyond the kingdom of Cachemir, there 
are three mountains, close by one another, one of which produces 
excellent Gold, the other Granats, and the third Lapis-Lazuli." 

The Jesuit fathers Grueber and d'Orville, who spent two 
months inLhassa in 1662, are as silent asOdoric concerning Tibetan 
gold, as also are two members of the same order, Ippolito Desideri 
and the Eurasian, Freyre, who resided in Lhassa from 1716 to 1729. 
The letters of the fiery and unfortunate Francisco Orazio della 
Penna, the chief of the Capuchin Order in Lhassa during their long 
sojourn (1716-1780) in that place, contain the earliest definite infor- 
mation we possess. " There are many goldfields in the provinces of 
U, Tzang, Tang, Khakpo, Khombo, and Kham, and silver (as far as 
is known) in the province of Kham." 

In 1774 George Bogle was sent by Warren Hastings on a 
mission to the Teshu Lama. In conversation with Tibetan mer- 
chants concerning the products of the country, he was told by them 
that "as to the products of this country, people imagined from 
gold being produced in it that it was extremely rich ; but this was 
not the case, and that if extraordinary quantities of gold were sent 
to Bengal, the Emperor of China, who was sovereign of the country, 
would be displeased at it." On the death of the Lama in Pekin in 
1782, Warren Hastings, with characteristic foresight, sent a second 
embassy to Tibet, in this case under Captain Samuel Turner. The 
medical officer associated with him was Mr. Sanders, who published 
mineralogical and other notes on the journey. Of gold he says : 
" They find it in large quantities, and frequently very pure. In the 
form of gold dust it is found in the beds of rivers, and at their 
several bendings, generally attached to small pieces of stone, with 
every appearance of its having been part of a larger mass. They 
find it sometimes in large masses, lumps, and irregular veins ; the 
adhering stone is generally flint or quartz, and I have sometimes 
seen a half -formed, impure sort of precious stone in the mass. By 
a common process for the purification of gold I extracted 12 per cent, 
of refuse from some gold dust ; and on examination found it to be 
sand and filings of iron, which last was not likely to have been with 
it in its native state, but probably employed for the purpose of 
adulteration." Notwithstanding this most circumstantial account, 



it is quite certain that Sanders never saw a Tibetan goldfield, and 
that the information was gained from the Tibetans, but he would, 
nevertheless, have abundant opportunities for examination of gold 
dust, which was then the only form of currency in the country. 

The brothers Strachey, who visited the sacred Manasarowar 
lakes in 1846 and 1848 respectively, reported old gold workings in 
that neighbourhood. It appeared that the fields to the north were 
let on a triennial lease, and that the farmer or Sarpon paid for the 
right 17,000 rupees (1,700) to the Lhassa treasury. He had some 
170 miners at work, but the country in which the mines lay was so 
inhospitable that nearly all supplies {satu, ghiu, and tea) were sent 




hotan .Nia jKqpa""" 
Kina Sorqhak 

; ' ^705C 

-* ;u E 



^iPmzg^ X<?~ 

1 N D I X 


Sketch Map 



KnownGoIdfields . 

Fig. 89. Sketch Map showing position of Tibetan Goldfielbs. 

from Pruang in Hundes. Occasionally large nuggets were found, and 
the Lama of Cangri was said to have one weighing nearly 30 ounces. 
During 1865 and 1866 geographical explorations of considerable 
value were carried on by Pandit Nain Singh, one of the most famous 
of the devoted band of native explorers employed by the Trigno- 
metrical Survey of India to collect information regarding those 
regions into which a European could not penetrate with safety. 
Though important geographically, the explorations during these 
years yield little information for our present purpose. In 1867, 
however, Nain Singh, together with his brother, who had previously 
been somewhat of a failure as an explorer, and a third pandit, set 
out in the guise of Basahris to explore the country along the eastern 
branch of the Upper Indus. Soon the brother's nerve gave way, 
and he returned to civilisation and safety. The third pandit went 

TIBET. 233 

up the Indus, and Nain Singh was now alone. On August 26th of 
that year, after a most arduous march, he crossed the Chomorang-la 
(16,670 feet), and finally reached the large camp of Thok-Jalung 
(Long. 81 37' 38", Lat. 32 24' 26-5"), the principal goldfield of the 
country. He found the camp situated on a wide desolate plain, of 
a prevailing reddish brown colour. As he approached it his ears 
were gladdened by the noise of a great number of voices singing 
together, and on his arrival found that the sound came 
from the gold-diggers and their families. The goldfield was 
quite new, and had been worked extensively for some eight or nine 
years only. According to Nain Singh the workings consisted of a 
large excavation from 10 to 200 paces in width, and some 25 feet 
in depth, access to the bottom being by means of steps and slopes, 
the earth as dug out being thrown up on either side. The excava- 
tion was about a mile in length. The digging was carried on with a 
long-handled shovel, and occasionally with an iron hoe. A very 
small stream runs through the goldfield, and the bottom of the 
excavation was consequently rather a quagmire during the day time, 
but the stream was invaluable for washing. The waters were 
dammed back, and a sloping channel left for the escape of the over- 
flow. A cloth (felt ?) was spread at (along ?) the bottom of the 
channel, and kept down by a number of stones, forming an 
uneven bottom. One man brought earth from the excavation, 
and sprinkled it over the channel, whilst another drove water down 
the channel by means of a leather bag. The water carried the 
Jighter soil away, but the pieces of gold fell into the uneven places, 
and were easily collected in the cloth by lifting up the stones. The 
yield of gold seems to be large and the finds occasionally very 
heavy. The pandit saw one nugget about 30 ounces in weight. 
The diggers say that they can recognise the auriferous gravel at 
once. The goldfields are carefully watched by the Lhassa authorities 
and are superintended by a sarpon or gold commissioner. The tax 
levied for the right to dig is one sarShu, or about 1/5 ounces 
(16s.), per digger per annum. 

The pandit said that in all his travels he never experienced such 
intense cold as at Thok-Jalung, owing, he thought, rather to the high 
wind that was always blowing than to the great elevation (16,330 
feet). During the winter the diggers are closely wrapped up in furs, 
and without them would perish. Their tents, to avoid the wind, are 
always pitched in pits some 7 or 8 feet below the surface of the 
ground. Despite the cold, the diggers prefer working in the winter, 
since then the frozen gravel stands well. The water near Thok- 
Jalung is so brackish that it cannot be drunk until it has been frozen 
and remelted. Argols (cattle droppings) are the only fuel. 
A year after Nain Singh's visit the third pandit travelled to 

234 ASIA. 

Rudok, and from thence east to Thok-Jalung. On the way 
he heard minute descriptions of no fewer than seven 
separate goldfields viz., those of Thok-Sarkong, Thok-Dikla, 
Thok-Ragyok, Thok-Thasang, Thok-Maroobhoob, Gunjee Thok, 
and Thok-Nainmo, beside those of Thok-Sarlung (Charalung) and 
Thok-Jalung, which he visited. Thok, it must be explained, is the 
Tibetan for gokmeld. Thok-Sarlung had at one time been the 
chief goldfield of the district, but had been in a great measure 
abandoned on the discovery of Thok-Jalung. At the former place 
the pandit passed a great excavation 30 to 40 feet deep, 200 feet wide, 
and 2 miles in length, from which the gold had been extracted. At 
first sight it would appear that this description could fit only the 
open-cast along the outcrop of a vein, but it is probable that the 
dimensions of the excavation were governed by the water available, 
and that the long excavation represents alluvial ground washed on 
either side of a stream, as apparently is the case at Thok-Jalung. 

Nain Singh in a later journey (1873) reached the Thok-Daurakpa 
goldfields, which were second in importance only to those of Thok- 
Jalung. The Daurakpa goldfields are 15,280 feet above sea-level, 
and the diggers dwell in caves called phukpa. There were then 
thirty-two of these, containing each from five to twenty-five indivi- 
duals. These caves are selected as habitations from necessity 
rather than from choice, and as a protection from the Khampa 
brigands, who have an unpleasant habit of cutting down first the 
tents and then the owners. The caves, on the other hand, are readily 
defensible. Thok-Daurakpa, unlike Thok-Jalung and Thok- 
Sarlung, has no long and wide excavations in which all the 
miners work, but each phukpa has its own gold pit. One or two men 
are generally employed in quarrying the stone in which the gold is 
found. The pieces of stone are hoisted in baskets to the brink of the 
pit, and are there pounded into small fragments, which are washed 
as at Thok-Jalung. From the foregoing description it may be 
inferred that the Daurakpa workings are in quartz veins, but it is 
also possible that the gold occurs in a cemented gravel so- hard as 
to require crushing to liberate the gold. Unfortunately, there is 
no water in the vicinity of the gold mines, and all water for washing 
is brought from a stream a mile distant in skins on donkeys that are 
specially kept for the purpose. Nain Singh estimated the value of 
the gold brought annually into Gartokh at some 8,000 sterling. 

Gold mines, generally deserted, have been reported from 
various places by the explorers who have dashed into Tibet to get as 
near Lhassa as possible before being stopped and turned back, or 
who have crossed Tibet to or from China by routes north of Lhassa. 
These explorers are, particularly, Bower, Carey, Bonvalot, Deasy, 
Littledale. and Rawling. The diggings visited by the last-named 

TIBET. 235 

in 1895 were at Pallo Letok (80 30', 34 45') and its neighbourhood. 
He heard of a famous goldfield, Munnak Thok (Long. 81 25' E., 
Lat. 33 10' N.), which employed 500 miners. In those actually 
crossed by Captain Rawling, the shallow pits extended for miles in 
a scene of ' dreary desolation. They had quite recently been 
abandoned, for the water races and dams were still clearly and 
sharply defined. 

Of late, attention has been directed to Tibetan goldfields by the 
report of the discovery of extensive goldfields by the indefatigable 
Central Asian explorer, Dr. Sven Hedin. An examination of the 
brief notes supplied by him makes it fairly clear that those newly 
found are but a northern extension of the already known Thok- 
Daurakpa and Sarka Shya goldfields. Definite figures for latitude 
and longitude are not available, but the position of Dr. Hedin's 
fields is probably about 86 east longitude and somewhat south of 
the 34th parallel of north latitude. 

The most northerly extension of the main Tibetan goldfield is 
apparently the northern slope of the Kuen-Lun mountains. Gold 
mining in alluvial deposits has been carried on there certainly for 
centuries. The principal centres are Sorghak, Kopa, Akka Tagh, and 
Bokalik. The first of these really lies in eastern Turkestan, and was 
visited in 1906 by Major C. D. Bruce, during a journey from India to 
Pekin." Sorghak is described as a squalid place, lack of water and 
an all-enveloping dust being its chief characteristics. The gravel is 
worked by circular shafts from 40 to 100 feet deep, apparently^ 
indeed, to " bottom," where tunnels are driven, and the pay gravel 
sent to surface. Owing to the lack of water Sorghak is a "dry- 
blowing " field, the sand being winnowed, and the operation finished 
by blowing the concentrates over felts. 

The foregoing auriferous areas are all in Western Tibet. There 
are two goldfields in Eastern Tibet. The first of these is in 
the neighbourhood of Koko Nor, in the north-east. According to 
Mesny, who visited some of these placer deposits, the alluvial gravel 
is, on an average, 20 feet in depth, but only the bottom gravel for a 
couple of feet above the rock is worth washing. The gold was coarse, 
varying in size from that of a turnip seed to that of a pea, while 
occasionally much larger nuggets were unearthed. The Gork gold- 
fields of Rockhill are also in this neighbourhood (circa 101 E. long., 
35 40' N. lat.). They were discovered about 1888, and were 
leased by the Hsi-ning Amban (prefect) to a Chinaman for 180 
ounces of gold per annum. In less than two years about 3.000 
ounces of gold had been taken out. Rockhill records gold also from 
Yuktu Gol and the Rajong valley south-west of Koko Nor. 

" Geog. Journal, XXTX, 1907, p. 608. 

236 asia. 

The Lithang goldfields, also in the east, are not in Tibet proper, 
but in Chinese Tibet. Here the workings occur along the banks 
of the Li Chu. About 3,000 ounces are produced annually. The 
implements used by the washers are very crude, a hollowed-out 
log serving as a" long -torn." According to Rockhill, the miners 
make about 3s. 2d. per day, but this is probably too high an estimate. 

Between Koko Nor and Lithang is another auriferous area, 
viz., that of Jyekundo. The washings there are apparently very poor, 
since one washer obtaining about five-pence worth of gold for four 
days' work expressed himself to Rockhill as fairly well satisfied. 

The outstanding feature of all these Tibetan goldfields is their 
lack of permanence. Several causes apparently co-operate to 
cause their desertion. They may be exhausted : new goldfields 
with greater potentialities may attract the diggers : the fearful 
influences of jeng-shui (fung-shui) may be brought into operation : 
or the diggers may be crushed by the officials. The first and the last 
of these are probably the most potent. When the Assistant- 
Commissioner of Kulu visited Thok-Jalung in 1906, he found that 
field deserted, and was told that all the diggers had gone to Thok- 
Dalung (sic), a day's journey distant. It subsequently appeared, 
however, that the Jongpen (Revenue Commissioner) of Chaprang 
had been harassing the diggers at Thok-Jalung. It was his habit 
to seize all the gold nuggets found, and to pay for them in brick tea 
at his own valuation. He had even tied up an unfortunate gold 
digger by the heels, and had him flogged to death. 

The reason that for centuries past has been advanced by the 
Tibetans themselves to account for the desertion of their goldfields 
is that in each given case the spirits of the earth had been angered 
and had withdrawn the supply of gold. They have always believed 
that the nuggets are the roots from which new gold grows, and, 
according to the lamas, have always replaced some of the gold in 
order not to deprive the earth entirely of gold seed. The diggers are 
silent on this last point. The story of the seed gold is first told in 
detail by William de Rubrucjuis (1254 a. d.), and has since been re- 
peated by most writers on Tibet. Again, mining in a country 
hallowed by the graves of their ancestors, is, from the Mongolian 
point of view, abhorrent to the feng-shui, the spirits of earth and air, 
who have long been accustomed to certain habitations and will not 
willingly see them disturbed. Strachey relates that the Manasarowar 
workings were deserted because a digger there had unearthed a small 
nugget of strangely human form clear evidence that the spirits were 
displeased. Not withstanding these stories, it may be taken for 
granted that no really rich field, either in Tibet or in China, is 
deserted solely from fear of feng-sh u i. 

TIBET. 237 

Of the source of Tibetan gold nothing definite may be said. 
From the scanty scraps of geological knowledge we possess it 
may be inferred that the goldfields are associated, as in 
India, with the Archaean schists and older metamorphics. The 
strike of the line of goldfields from Rudok to the Zilling Cho, as 
shown on the accompanying map, would appear to lie northward 
and parallel to the crystalline axis running through the neighbour- 
hood of Lhassa, as mapped by Hayden when with the 1906 punitive 
expedition/' Again, in the portion of the Western Kuen-Lun 
mountains known to geologists, the mountain axis is also a meta- 
morphic schist. By the degradation of these older rocks the aurifer- 
ous gravels have presumably been formed. It has always been a 
matter of some surprise that, with the drainage from the goldfields 
apparently falling into the Yaro-Tsangpo, there were no auriferous 
deposits along that river. The examination of Hayden's concen- 
trates from the Tsangpo, ' J the lack of all mention of gold washings 
along its course, and the writer's own examination of the river 
near Sadiya (where it is known as the Dihong) as it debouches from 
the Himalayas, had sufficiently proved that gold content of 
the river gravels was unimportant. A new light is there- 
fore thrown on the matter by Dr. Sven Hedin's discovery of 
a great mountain range between the Tsangpo and the line of 
goldfields, indicating that the drainage of the latter is toward 
the great central Tibetan basin and not into the Tsangpo. The 
eastward trending line of goldfields apparently represents the 
course of the drainage channel itself. 

From the foregoing it will be clear that no opinion may be 
formed as to the richness or poverty of the Tibetan goldfields. On 
the one hand, large nuggets are certainly found, and the gold 
generally appears to be coarse ; but, on the other, the gold diggers 
are the poorest and most miserable of a poor and wretched people. 
The gold is certainly widely spread, but the severity of the climate 
and the difficulties of working are not paralleled even at Nome or at 


Little is known of the auriferous areas of this region. The 
streams in the neighbourhood of Yarkand, Khotan, and Karakash, 
all flowing north from the Karakoram mountains, are occasionally 
auriferous, and give rise to a limited gold- washing industry. The 
mines of Khotan have already been mentioned under Tibet. They 

" Records Geol. Surv., India, XXXII, 1905, p. 160. 
Maclaren, loc. cit. sup., p. 173. 

238 asia. 

are located at Sorghak, Kopa, Chugalak, Charchen, and Karatagh/' 
In 1875 there were said to exist twenty-two places where gold might 
be found, but of these only the above five were being worked. 

In the north-west corner of Eastern Turkestan, gold is found 
only in the right affluents of the Hi, that flow from the granite 
ranges of the Dzungaria Ala-Tagh. The Tekes, a tributary of the 
Hi, is reported to carry a small quantity of alluvial gold. 


India offers to the ordinary prospector an extremely uninviting 
field. Its auriferous deposits, both vein and placer, have been 
carefully prospected and assiduously worked for at least twenty -five 
centuries and that by a people whose skill is noteworthy, and whose 
patience is monumental. The great spoil heaps of quartz, broken 
to fragments smaller than a hazel nut, that are numerous in the 
immediate vicinity of the prospecting works of the ancients, are 
lasting and sufficient evidence of the great care with which all 
possibly auriferous quartz outcrops were sampled. No such spoil 
heaps remain to mark the outcrop of rich veins, for the stone from 
these was carried away to the nearest water, and, after having been 
most laboriously reduced to fine powder beneath crushing and 
rubbing stones, was washed for its contained gold in a rude batea 
or in a short inclined trough. Prospecting for gold veins in India, 
therefore, resolves itself into a search for old workings, and in this 
quest the dolly and pan are useless. An eye keen to detect abnormal 
depressions in the black cotton soil of the Mysore and Hyderabad 
plateaux, an ability to trace the schistose belts in which the quartz 
veins lie, a colloquial knowledge of a Deccan language (preferably 
Kanarese), and finally sufficient guile to extract information from 
the unwitting ryot, these are all better aids towards success. Indi- 
cations of the proximity of gold-quartz veins are sometimes afforded 
by the presence of the rude stone pestles, mortars, and crushing 
mills of the ancient miners. The schists in which the veins occur are 
soft and easily weathered ; often the only hard rock in a schistose 
region is an intrusive diabase. At points along such a dyke there 
may be found on its surface numerous cup-shaped depressions, 4 or 
5 inches across, and about the same in depth, in which the larger 
fragments of quartz were broken to the size of a pea before being 
triturated to dust beneath a stone held in the hand and rubbed 
backwards and forwards, or beneath great spherical or rudely 

a Forsyth, " Mission to Yarkand," 1875, p. 475. 

h Maclaren, Min. Jour., LXXXIV, Aug. 15, 1908, p. 198. 

INDIA. 239 

cylindrical rocking stones weighing from a hundredweight to 
nearly a ton, and worked in all probability by women. The rock- 
ing stones leave smooth-faced shallow depressions in the bedrock 
that are easily recognised by the practised eye. Near Wondalli, 
in the Nizam's dominions, many huge, rudely spherical, granite 
boulders that had served as crushing-mills in ancient times were 
formerly dotted over the quartz-strewn surface. Of these only 
two now remain, the remainder having been split by unimaginative 
stone-masons to build the bungalows of a long-defunct gold-mining 
company. The actual position of the anciently worked vein is 
often deeply masked. The Southern Deccan, owing to lack of rain- 
fall, is practically treeless, but forms on its surface a thick black 
soil, commonly known as ' l cotton soil." From the same lack of 
rainfall the contour of the surface of the auriferous country where 
not actually flat is gently undulating, especially when the schists 
possess no strengthening ribs of hard banded-quartzite to aid them 
in their struggle against denudation. Under such circumstances, 
the old pits are soon filled in, and all traces of ancient working are 
completely obliterated. It was only by noting the existence of a 
short chain of slight depressions in the cotton-soil that the now 
well-known Hutti mine was discovered, for over its workings there 
had been grown many a crop of jowari and of cotton. A single 
depression would have completely escaped notice, and as a matter 
of fact the chain did not suggest a mine until 1900, although the 
district had been known to be auriferous, and had, indeed, been 
prospected for some thirteen years. Even when found the tenor 
of the quartz in many of the old workings is far too low to justify 
exploitation under modern conditions, for there can be little doubt 
that these ancient mines were worked by slave labour. Where, 
however, the veins were really rich, as at Kolar and at Hutti, they 
have been followed down for great depths, in the latter case to 620 
feet below the surface, probably the greatest depth to which the 
ancients reached in their search for gold, and a depth the more 
remarkable in view of the hardness of the rock and of the crude 
methods of mining and hoisting then in vogue. Fragments of 
charcoal in old levels and marks of fire on abandoned faces show that 
the laborious method of " fire-setting " was practised. 

India has, through all the ages down to the nineteenth century, 
been regarded as a land superlatively rich in gold. It was, for 
example, long thought to contain that Ophir from whence Solomon 
drew his stores of gold an assumption considered to be finally 
proved by various arguments advanced by the most famous 
philologist of the last century. But these philological arguments are 
now deemed of doubtful validity, and with every advance on our 
knowledge of the history of ancient India, it becomes more and 

240 ASIA. 

more certain that, wherever the ships of Tarshish journeyed, it 
assuredly was not to the coasts of India. It is highly improbable, 
considering the comparatively advanced state of civilisation 
prevailing in Southern India in the days of Solomon, that the 
voyagers could have landed on its shores other than as mere traders. 
That they could have occupied the country and worked its gold 
mines is inconceivable ; and, as traders they could have taken 
nothing to India with which to appeal to the inhabitants of that self- 
contained country except gold and silver the very commodities 
they are supposed to have brought away. Even four centuries 
before the Christian era India was famous as an absorbent of gold 
and silver, and in later centuries even to the present time the flood 
of gold has always steadily set eastward towards Hindustan a 
country, indeed, termed " the sink of gold '' by a writer of the 
Middle Ages. It may be concluded, therefore, that the enormous 
hoards of gold that have fallen as booty to various conquerors in 
India, have resulted from the long-continued operations of trade, 
and are in no wise indicative of rich mines within the country. The 
Ophir fable, as regarding India, was vigorously exploited from 
1877 to 1879, in order to boom the ill-fated mines of the Wainaad, 
near the Malabar coast, where hundreds of thousands sterling 
were recklessly squandered in useless work and useless machinery, 
and millions in promotion money. 

Again, India is the home of the gold-digging ants of the Greek 
historians a story that, notwithstanding many attempts at eluci- 
dation, is to-day an even greater mystery than it was to Herodotus 
more than 2,300 years ago. For these ants lived in the parched 
sandy deserts of Northern India, and collected gold in great quantity 
at the mouths of their burrows ; and so large and fierce and swift 
were they that the gold they gathered might be collected by the 
Indians only by stealth and subtlety. Space forbids the discussion 
of this interesting story, which is repeated, with additions in his own 
inimitable fashion, by the ingenuous chronicler of the travels of Sir 
John Mandeville. Notwithstanding the dicta of Professor Schiern 
and Sir Henry Rawlinson, who place the scene of the labours 
of the ants amid the snows of the Tibetan plateau, it is considered 
by the present writer, from the internal evidence furnished, that, 
if the story is to be accepted at all, its deserts are to be placed, 
not on the Chang-thang the desolate wind-swept plateau of 
Tibet but in Eastern Turkestan, in the neighbourhood of 

From the time of the Greek historians down to the nineteenth 
century, nothing is known of the history of the gold mines of India. 
Of all the ancient civilised peoples of the world, the Hindu has 
proved the worst historian. Possessing several scripts, he never- 

INDIA. 241 

theless, as a chronicler falls far behind the Polynesian, dependent 
only on oral tradition. It was not, indeed, until the advent, about 
1000 a.d., of the Musalman conqueror, Mahmud of Ghuzni, through 
the eastern passes of Afghanistan that historical record lifts the 
curtain thrown over events in India. But detailed as the subsequent 
Musalman accounts are, there is in them no mention of the ancient 
gold mines of Southern India. It is certain that they were being 
worked in the beginning of the Christian era. Pliny (a.d. 77) says : 
"In the country of the Narese (Nairs), beyond the mountain Capitalia 
(Mount Abu in Rajputana), there are numerous mines of gold and 
silver in which the Indians work very extensively " a description 
perhaps sufficiently specific to indicate the gold mines of Hyderabad 
and Mysore. 

The first Mahomedan invasion of the Deccan was made by the 
Khilji emperor, Ala-ud-din, in 1294 a.d., and from thence a fairly 
connected account of the course of events may be made out from the 
gossipy chronicles of various writers, and notably from those of the 
cultured Persian, Mahomed Kazim Ferishta, who wrote at great 
length in Bijapur about 1600 a.d. Quoting from an old record, he 
describes the delight with which Ahmed Shah Wully Bahmani in 
his campaign of 1425 a.d. obtained possession of an unimportant 
diamond mine at Kullum, but nowhere is there any mention of gold 
or of gold mines. That this neglect was not due to indifference 
towards the subject is evident from the fact that he describes the 
discovery, in 998 a.d., of a now unknown gold mine in far-away 
Seistan in South-western Afghanistan, and also mentions, 
the trifling gold-washings of Kumaon in Northern India- 
Further, the great Vijayanagar empire, against which the 
might of the confederated Mahomedan kingdoms strove 
so long in vain, and which alone saved Southern India from 
Mahomedan domination, does not appear to have derived any 
of its wealth from gold mines. Retaining, as it did, practically 
undisturbed possession of the auriferous areas of Gadag and of 
northern Mysore from the beginning of the fourteenth to the middle 
of the sixteenth centuries, it is in the highest degree improbable 
that, had the gold mines been worked at any time during the 
existence of the empire, at least their position would have 
remained unknown to the rapacious Mahomedan invader. 
Nor are gold mines mentioned by any of the numerous 
European adventurers Nicoli di Conti, Varthema, Federici, 
Nikitin (1470), or Barbosa (1508) whose way from Goa to 
the capital city of Vijayanagar, then at the height of its 
glory, led them so close to the mines at Gadag. The Vijayanagar 
empire was swept out of existence in 1565 a.d. at the bloody battle 
of Talikota, a small village lying some distance across the Kistna 


242 ASIA. 

river from the Hutti mines. It may, therefore, be finally concluded 
that the ancient gold mines of Southern India were forgotten by 
1300 a.d., thus rendering it probable that they were not worked, at 
least on a large scale, subsequent to 1000 a.d. At Kolar, however, 
it is known that pillar-robbing and rooting among the ancient 
workings was practised in desultory fashion even at the end of the 
eighteenth century. 

Geology. Except on the edge of the Western Ghauts, the 
auriferous vein areas of India lie on a broad treeless plateau about 
2,200 feet above sea-level. The rainfall varies with proximity to 
the coast, the central portion of the plateau receiving always less than 
20 inches per annum. The known gold belts of Southern India, 
with one doubtful exception (Wainaad), lie in the Dharwar (Transi- 
tion) series of Archaean rocks, which rest, so far as can be seen, 
on a gneissoid granite. The relations of the Dharwar schistose rocks 
to the granite are far from clear, and are further obscured by the 
presence of younger granites intrusive both into the gneiss and 
into the schists, but into the latter generally only along or near their 
gneiss contacts. Various views have been held as to these relations 
and the question remains an open one; but the simplest, and the 
most probable, is that the gneiss is the ancient granite floor on 
which the lavas and sediments now forming the schistose complex 
were deposited. 

The Dharwar rocks are typically developed as a series of long, 
narrow, fairly parallel belts, extending from near Belgaum in the 
Bombay Presidency, and from the Kistna river in the Nizam's 
dominions, southward through the Mysore State. The northern 
extension of the Dharwar bands is in nearly all cases concealed 
beneath Cambrian or pre-Cambrian quartzites, or beneath the 
Deccan Trap. Five main bands may be distinguished, and are 
here enumerated in their order from west to east : 

I. The Castle Rock Band. This band lies along the eastern 
frontier of the Portuguese territory of Goa, and probably extends 
towards the south-south-east to join the schist band shown by the 
work of the Mysore Geological Survey to exist near Honnali. It 
may also be continuous as far south as the scarp overlooking Manga- 
lore, but very little is known concerning its extension, since it 
lies in a region of heavy rainfall, and consequently of dense jungle. 
In the north, however, where it was most closely examined by the 
writer, it appears to contain the least metamorphosed members of 
the Dharwar system, viz., dolomitic limestones and quartzites, 
the latter only occasionally becoming quartz-schists. No auriferous 
veins have as yet been found along this band. 

II. The Dharivar-Shimoga Band. This band emerges from 
beneath the Deccan Trap in the neighbourhood of Belgaum, runs 



south to the station of Dharwar (from which the whole series was 
named by Foote), enters Mysore territory near Harihar, and passes 
south by Tarikere until it finally frays out in thin bands. The 
supposed Dharwar rocks of Coorg and of the Wainaad, are possibly 


iwarrna gee's ;.< / 
V a ^t;Castle R 

Fig. 90. Sketch Map, showing Dharwar Schist Bands in Southern' India. 

outliers of this great band. Ancient gold workings are known on it 
west of Ranibennur, and in the Mysore State near Ajjampur. The 
rocks of the band were, on the whole, evidently original sedimentary 
deposits, being now mainly chlorite-schists. 

244 asia. 

777. The Gadag-Seringapatam Band. This is one of the longest 
and best-defined of the Dharwar belts. Omitting a small northern 
outlier at Nargund, it may be said to commence near the town of 
Gadag, and to have a general south-south-east trend, passing by 
Chitaldroog and Huriyur, and swinging to the south-south-west as it 
approaches its southern termination near Seringapatam. Several 
mining districts occur along the course of this band. The chief is that 
of Gadag, but numerous old workings are known, and have been 
re-opened, in the Tumkur district of Mysore. The country of the 
gold-quartz veins of this belt is an original sedimentary rock, 
now mainly chlorite-schist and argillite, but associated with boulder 
beds, and, in the south, with dolomitic limestones. The Nanjangud 
auriferous area south of Seringapatam is probably on this belt. 

IV. The Hunugund Band. This strikes across the south-west 
corner of the Nizam's dominions to and beyond Bellary. No 
auriferous veins are known along its course, although old workings, 
possibly for gold, occur near Tarwaragheri. 

V. The Maski Band. The Maski belt lies entirely within the 
Nizam's dominions, between Raichur and Mudgal, and for the most 
part south of the Kristna river. It comprises three disconnected 
portions, of which the central one containing the Hutti, Topuldodi, 
and Wondalli mines, is alone of economic importance. The 
principal rocks are here hornblende-schists. 

In addition to the main bands above outlined there are several 
smaller bands. The largest of these, in the Sandur State, contains 
extensive deposits of lateritic manganese. Of the smaller, the Kolar 
and Anantapur belts are alone of importance. It is from the former, 
of course, that nearly all the gold obtained in India during the past 
twenty years has been derived. The main bands and outliers 
alike apparently represent the bottoms of great earth folds generated 
by a pre-Cambrian east-north-east west-south-west compression ; 
but there is also evidence that some may owe their preservation to 
faulting down. Speaking generally, the schistosity of the Dharwar 
belts decreases from east to west ; and, further, on passing from 
east to west sedimentary rocks assume greater and greater impor- 
tance, until on the Western Ghauts igneous rocks are rare. Since 
the work of Mr. R. B. Foote in 1886, and with the exception of a 
season's work by the present writer in 1904-5, nothing has been 
done towards demarcating the boundaries within British India of 
these important belts. In the State of Mysore, however, the dis- 
position and character of the Dharwar bands are well known, 
owing to the excellent work of the members of the Mysore Geological 

INDIA. 245 

The Dharwar series is a complex aggregate of highly meta- 
morphosed, rocks, which are yet not so greatly altered as to render 
it impossible to discern the original nature of some of its constituents ; 
and a separation into igneous and sedimentary members is often 
practicable. Of the relative ages of the two little can be said. 
Among the more easily recognisable sedimentary rocks are boulder- 
beds or " conglomerates," pebbly grits, quartzites, argillites, 
chloritic schists, and limestones. The boulders of the boulder-beds 
are embedded in a chloritic schist matrix, and are seldom so closely 
aggregated as to deserve the term conglomerate. The quartzites 
are in places metamorphosed into quartz-schists. They are often, 
and especially in the Castle Rock Band on the edge of the Western 
Ghauts, horizontally bedded, but yet, in conformity with the 
prevailing direction of pressure, they have had impressed on them 
a distinct north-north-west south -south-east schistose cleavage. 
Since the bedding and cleavage are very nearly of equal 
value in their resistance to weathering, the same bed often 
shows within a few yards a sudden transition from hori- 
zontality to a steep north-easterly dip, the last being that 
of the foliation. Limestones are not abundant, and reach their 
greatest development in the dolomitic members of the Castle Rock 
Band that underlie the above-mentioned quartzites. The limestones 
contain in places thin interbedded bands of chrysolite, which show 
by their numerous contortions and intense crumpling that they have 
yielded by physical displacement to a lateral pressure that, owing to 
chemical reconstitution of the lime and magnesia carbonates, has 
left no visible effect on the limestone. Another exposure of 
limestone occurs at Dodrampur, south of Chiknayakanhalli, in the 
Mysore State. By far the most characteristic rock of the series, 
only to be found, as far as the writer is aware, in the sedimentary 
division of the Dharwars, is a well-banded, generally much contorted, 
hsematite-magnetite-quartz rock of obscure origin. This rock, 
though forming but a relatively small proportion of the complex, 
yet exercises a most potent influence on Dharwarian scenery. Its 
superior hardness enables it to form the mountain ridges of the belts 
while the softer chloritic schists and. argillites, with which it is in 
India invariably associated, sink down to intervening valleys and 
plains. These haematite-quartz rocks, and consequently the 
mountain ridges, invariably conform to the general strike of the 

The great degree of contortion shown by them indicates that 
they have shared in all the metamorphism to which the Dharwars 
have been subjected, and further that if, as has been assumed by 
some authorities, they owe their origin to silicification along shearing 
planes, such silicification took place long prior to the period of greatest 

246 asia. 

metamorphic activity. But shearing planes are compatible only 
with great dynamic movements, such as are known to have taken 
place in this region long after the formation of the hsematite-quartz 
bands. The most reasonable explanation of the origin of these 
peculiar rocks is that suggested by Van Hise in regard to not greatly 
dissimilar American occurrences. He supposes that they represent 
original highly ferruginous shales, that, owing to a re-arrangement of 
the component minerals proceeding from the natural segregative 
tendency of iron oxides and of silica, formed, before they were 
depressed below the reach of oxidising influences, normal ferruginous 
cherts containing simply limonite and cherty matter, more or less 
banded. Passing from the upper zone of weathering, and being 
subjected to the stress of orogenic movements, the bands were con- 
torted and subjected to active dehydration, which converted the 
limonite into haematite. Where pure iron carbonates, such as are 
now found at the surface in many Dharwarian areas, occurred with 
the limonite the depression into the region of sulphide waters pro- 
duced magnetite. Where, however, the descending iron carbonates 
were not pure, but contained lime and magnesia, and came within 
the influence of silicious waters, actinolite, griinerite, or kindred 
minerals were formed. Such, no doubt, was the origin of the gedrite- 
bearing rocks described by the Mysore Geological Survey. The 
banding of the quartz-rock is occasionally so fine as to be 
resolvable only under the microscope. a Similar rocks are known 
in the Archaean rocks of Western Australia and in Rhodesia ; 
they have recently been described from the latter country under 
the designation of 'banded ironstones." In Western Australia 
they are known as " laminated quartzites." 

The members of the Dharwars derived from igneous rocks are 
mica-schists, hornblende-schists, certain chloritic schists, amphi- 
bolites, felsites, and quartz-porphyries, representing probably a 
succession of fairly basic to acidic rocks, such as may be met with in 
many a younger volcanic region. The origin of the mica-schists is 
not clear, but some of the hornblende-schists retain sufficient of the 
original structure to indicate their diabasic nature, while in some 
light-coloured varieties the ophitic structure is so clear that the rocks 
may fairly be termed diabase-schists. Where they have been in- 
fluenced by the intrusion of younger granites, the hornblende-schists 
lose their schistose structure, and by reconstitution of their 
fragmentary felspars and hornblendes, assume a truly dioritic 
habit. No trace remains of original pyroxene, but certain hornblende- 
schists, and notably those of Kolar, when near the intrusive granite, 
contain veinlets of secondary augite, which, in the sections in the 

a Maclaren, Trans. Inst. Min. Met., XVI, 1907, p. 1. 

INDIA. 247 

writer's collection, appear to owe their origin to pneumatolytic 

Throughout the whole Dharwarian series, as well as through 
the adjacent crystalline rocks, there ramify numerous diabasic 
and doleritic dykes that, showing no schistose structure and no 
trace whatever of deformation, are obviously later than the period 
of the final metamorphism of the enclosing rock. They may, 
however, be correlated with some degree of probability with certain 
lava flows in the Cheyair group of the Lower Cuddapah System. The 
microscopic characters of these flows have been described with some 
detail, a and their petrographic similarities to the dykes of the Madras 
Presidency pointed out. Their similarity to the dykes of Western 
India is no less striking, an augite-diorite lava group perhaps repre- 
senting best the majority of the western dykes. The determination 
of the age of these dykes is a matter of some importance, as will be 
seen later when considering the two periods of Indian auriferous 

In India, outside the typical southern areas, the only rocks that 
may reasonably, on the evidence available, be grouped with the 
Dharwars, are the auriferous schists and phyllites of Chota Nagpur, 
and probably also those of the great Aravalli system of N.W. India. 
The Aravallis possess the same general direction of foliation as the 
Dharwars, and have been apparently subjected to the same com- 
pressive force. To the foregoing rocks it may eventually be found 
necessary to add the schists of Behar and of Shillong, in the north- 
east of India. 

The relations of overlying rocks to the Dharwars are those of 
absolute unconformity. Where contacts have been observed, the 
younger Transition beds lie horizontally, or at low angles, on the 
upturned and denuded edges of the Dharwars. The latter have 
suffered from long seons of dynamic metamorphism ; the former have 
hardly been disturbed, preserving, for example, at the ancient hill 
fort of Nargund, even their ripple-markings as clearly defined to-day 
as when they were first laid down on the shores of a Cambrian sea. 
An enormous gap in time is therefore indicated by this unconformity. 

The younger rocks contain no fossils and are perhaps Cambrian 
or even pre-Cambrian in age. They are, in the main, slates, con- 
glomerates, and quartzites, the last being occasionally so little 
compacted as to rather deserve the name of sandstones. In their 
typical areas they are preserved in broad basins the chief being the 
Cuddapah (Kadapa), and the Kaladgi basins. The representatives 
of these rocks in Northern India must be sought for in the Bijawars 

a Lake, Rec. Geol. Surv. India, XXIII, p. 259 ; Holland, lb. XXX, p. 16. 

248 asia. 

The auriferous quartz veins of the Dharwars may most readily 
be divided into two groups : (a) those which occur in hornblendic 
schists, and (6) those occurring in argillites and chloritic schists. The 
best known of the former are those of the Kolar goldfield in Mysore, 
and of the Hutti field in the Nizam's dominions. The latter division 
includes those of the Gadag field and the Dharwar belt proper. A 
closer examination, however, shows that the veins are capable of a 
genetic, and therefore a better, classification, indicating two distinct 
and long-separated periods of auriferous activity. The first is to be 
associated with the period of the general dynamic metamorphism 
of the Dharwars, and finds expression in the veins of bluish-grey to 
bluish-black quartz that furnish the gold of Kolar and of Hutti. 
Microscopic sections of this quartz, especially from the Hutti mine, 
show that it has been subjected to all the metamorphism that has 
affected the enclosing rocks. Its structure is decidedly schistose, 
and its dark colour may be considered to be due to total internal 
reflection from strain surfaces. Its gold is nearly always internal, 
a certain proof of contemporaneous deposition of gold and of silica. 

The second period of auriferous activity may with equal clear- 
ness be associated with the great intrusion of diabasic and doleritic 
magmas already shown to have occurred in Lower Cuddapah times. 
The heat furnished by these dykes set in motion siliceous solutions 
carrying gold, and the white quartz veins of Kolar, Hutti, and Gadag 
were the result. On the first two fields the white quartz is often 
found in the same fissure as the older dark variety, doubtless 
deriving some of its gold from the latter. When examined under 
the microscope the white quartz shows no trace of schistose structure 
and no further strain phenomena than are normal in the quartz of 
ordinary veins. 

The veins of both periods show a decided tendency towards 
lenticular and overlapping structure the world-wide characteristic 
of quartz veins in schistose rocks, and indeed the natural result of 
deposition along foliation planes. On the Gadag field the younger 
are the more important veins, occurring in a carbonaceous argillite, 
which is studded, as might be expected, with pyrites. The quartz 
lenses of the area are connected by graphitic lode-formations, and the 
main Gadag reef system appears to lie within what was originally 
a highly carbonaceous band in the argillites. In the older quartz 
veins the gold-quartz occurs in " shoots," those of the Kolar vein 
furnishing probably the best example known of this form of aggre- 
gation of gold. 

No strong or well-defined veins have been found associated 
with the Dharwars of Chota Nagpur in Northern India. The few 
that have been determined are small and poor, and evidently fall 
within the second or younger group, as outlined above. They are 

INDIA. 249 

associated with a tremendous dioritic outburst not greatly dis- 
similar from those already described, and which, known as the 
Dulma Trap, sweeps in an arc of a circle through the Singbhum 
Division. No auriferous veins are known to occur in the Aravallis 
of North- West India. 

Kolar. The Kolar goldfield lies about 2,700 feet above sea 
level, towards the eastern edge of the open grass-covered Mysore 
uplands. The nearest large town is Bangalore. The climate, 
though hot, is healthy, and residence there entails none of those 
trials, amounting at times to positive suffering, that must be endured 
by unfortunate dwellers in the " plains " of India. The average 
annual rainfall is 31 inches, an amount very small when the latitude 
of the field is taken into consideration. Until recently, therefore, 
there has always been some difficulty in obtaining sufficient water 
for milling and domestic purposes, since none of the mines make much 
water. The recent connection of the field with the Betamangalam 
tank or reservoir, which lies a few miles to the north-east, has now 
ensured a plentiful supply for the field. 

The modern history of the Kolar goldfield opens in 1802 with 
the examination of the outcrops by Lieut. Warren, of H.M. 33rd 
Regiment, who was then engaged in surveying the Eastern Mysore 
frontier. While camped at the Betamangalam tank, rumours of 
the existence of gold at the small village of Wurigam (Ooregaum) 
reached him. He paid a visit to the spot, set a number of women 
to work, and collected a small quantity of gold. While thus en- 
gaged he heard that gold was being extracted from a spot about a 
mile west of the neighbouring village of Marcupam (Marikuppam). 
Thither he accordingly repaired, and descended two mines, which 
were no more than 30 and 50 feet deep respectively. He employed 
several men in collecting quartz, but obtained only 2 grains 
gold as the result of two days' labour. As he was dependent on the 
honesty of native washers, he shrewdly "remarks that it was in all 
probability not a true return. According to the natives, these 
mines had been known for many years, and had indeed been tried by 
Tippoo Sahib, who abandoned the experiment after a few weeks' 
work. The trial, however, appears to have been conducted in a 
very perfunctory manner, for the Brahmin in charge of the workmen 
never visited the scene of operations. Lieut. Warren also 
made numerous trials in the sands of the watercourses, in nearly 
all cases obtaining a few fine colours of gold. For many years after 
Warren's visit fugitive references to the gold of Mysore, mainly 
quotations from his description, appear in the publications of the 
period. It appears that the natives at Marikuppam continued to 
burrow among the old workings until 1859, but so crude and so 

250 ASIA. 

dangerous were their methods that, in their own interests, they were 
finally prohibited from working underground by Sir Mark Cubbon, 
then Commissioner of Mysore. About the same time a syndicate of 
Bangalore military residents obtained a concession and commenced 
to work at Ooregum. Their operations were unsuccessful. 

The pioneer of the present industry was undoubtedly M. F. 
Lavelle, a retired soldier, who had served with his regiment during 
the Maori war in New Zealand, and had there also learned something 
of gold-mining. In 1873 he applied to the Mysore Government for 
the exclusive right to prospect in the Kolar district, mainly for coaL 
Y\liether the mention of coal was merely a finesse or not is now not 
clear, but at any rate his attention was soon turned towards gold. 
He commenced operations in 1875, and in 1876 handed over his con- 
cessions to a small syndicate that imported two Australian miners,, 
but spent its small capital (5,000) with little or no return. Fresh 
capital was obtained, and in 1879 a little gold quartz was obtained, 
the find resulting in the formation of a small company (the original 
Ooregum Company of Madras) with a capital of Rs. 100,000 (10,000). 
Further discoveries of gold-quartz in 1880 brought several mining 
engineers from the Wainaad, then in the throes of a vigorous 
" boom," and the concession was promptly purchased for 75,000. 
The first crushing took place in December, 1880, when 40 tons were 
treated for 42 ounces gold. The Wainaad boom had now spread to 
Mysore, and by July, 1881, eleven companies had been formed, 
with an aggregate capital of 1,216,000, of which no less than 
641,000 had been paid to the vendors in cash and shares, but mainly 
cash. During the height of the boom, the wildest speculations 
were indulged in. The newspapers of the time contain grave dis- 
cussions concerning the serious effect on the world's currency of the 
future gold output of an area that had then produced to European 
labour and capital certainly less than 100 ounces of gold, and had, as 
future operations were destined to show, hardly a single ounce 
" in sight." 

On the field itself operations appear to have been attended 
with considerable lack of management. Large European staffs 
were imported, suitable quarters for these were built at great ex- 
pense, costly milling machinery was brought to the field, and the 
little money thus left for true mining was frittered away in sinking 
numerous surface shafts. Little or no gold was found, and as the 
companies approached the end of their resources they endeavoured 
to avert disaster by rapid changes of management, thus profiting 
as little as could be by the local experience gained by mistakes. 
By the end of 1883 nearly all the companies were moribund. In 
October of that year a meeting was held in London which was 
destined to affect materially the fortunes of the Kolar field. Of a 

INDIA. 251 

capital of 135,000 the Mysore company had but 18,000 unexpended 
and the point was debated among the shareholders whether it was 
better to distribute the money or to carry on with what appeared at 
best to be a forlorn hope. In the end it was decided to continue, the 
meeting being greatly influenced by the strongly expressed opinions 
of Captain Plummer and of Mr. W. Bell-Davies, a mining engineer 
who had not long before visited the field, and also by the fact that 
a small pocket of gold quartz had a short time previously been found 
in the Balaghat mine. Captain Plummer took charge, and con- 
centrated his forces on a shaft 173 feet deep, near very extensive old 
workings at Marikuppam. Driving in a direction opposite to that 
favoured by most of his predecessors, he soon came on the reef, but 
amongst ancient workings. Fortunately, some pillars of quartz 
worth 4 ounces to the ton had been left in the old stopes, and an 
effort was made to bottom the old workings, resulting in the dis- 
covery of stone of equal richness. By the end of 1885 the Mysore 
mine had yielded 6,099 ounces gold, worth 24,000. This success 
naturally galvanised the adjacent companies into fresh life, and the 
Ooregum, Nundydroog, and others found fresh capital. The general 
features of the auriferous deposits were now being recognised, and 
from 1886 onward the history of the field has been one of unvaried 
success and prosperity. Neither in mining nor in milling have any 
serious difficulties presented themselves. The dip of the lode 
(about 55) greatly facilitates the former, and since the gold is free 
milling, the simplest of methods suffices for the latter. A notable 
factor in the reduction of mining and milling costs was introduced 
in 1902. Fuel had always been expensive, the necessary coal being 
brought either from Singareni, 600 miles distant by rail, or from 
Barakar, 400 by rail and 1,000 by sea. In that year electric power 
was substituted for steam, electricity being generated at the Cauvery 
Falls, 92 miles by air-line from Kolar. The cost at first was high 
29 per horse-power per annum but as the capital outlay was 
recouped the Mysore Government reduced charges to 10 per 
horse-power per annum. Prior to the introduction of electricity 
the steam charges had been 30 per horse-power per annum. 

The geology of the Kolar field warrants some detailed mention. 
Its schist belt is about 50 miles in length, reaching from Shrinivaspur 
in the north, to four or five miles north of Krishnagiri in the Madras 
Presidency. The fundamental granite-gneiss rocks are separated 
by Dr. Smeeth of the Mysore Geological Survey as a grey gneiss, an 
older porphyritic granite, and a younger intrusive granite, the last 
being certainly later than the schists. a The rocks of the schist belt 
are also divided into three series : (a) The conglomerate series ; 

a Rep. Dep. Mines, Mysore, 1899. 



^r : -.i---^ - - *. mm Hi 1 ft* * r 

D.'-^ x j. x 

^ X. | X X 

J- X J. 

J- -I -L, 

'A ABeturayakoi 

A A3 006/ 

1 t-xtl'-!- 1 L.U.LJJ.I 1 , , | 



J ,, e Hi M /or h U^' 

" MlVi Ml / C0 0N C A 1** 

'ol o| p ^ * x 

) 0' M/j. J. X X X 


Li ui*rioL 

1 .^Champion Reef 

X X 


iic V, J, i 

li J. 


77i i i i i Yerrakonda 

i\u 33Sp' 

>\M A D R\A S 


5c a le _ AZ/'/cs 

Fig. 91. Geological Sketch Map of the Kolab Goldfteld, India {Smeelh). 

1. Newer Granite. 2. Hornblende-schist. 3. Conglomerate series. 4. Older Porphyritic Banded 

and Gneissose Granite. 5. Granitic Gneiss. D. Basic Dykes. Q. Ferruginous Banded 


INDIA. 253 

(b) hornblendic schists ; and (c) ferruginous quartzites. The 
conglomerate series should, perhaps, be named the pseudo- 
conglomerate series, since the structure is autoclastic and is derived 
by simple crushing and squeezing in situ of granite veins in a horn- 
blende-schist matrix. This series is developed along the eastern 
margin of the belt. The hornblende-schist which makes up the 
greater portion of the belt appears to have originally been a complex 
of lavas of intermediate or basic composition, and, as at Gadag, 
there are traces of original diabasic structure. Though the beds on 
either side of the belt possess dips converging towards the centre 
there is no clear evidence of regular synclinal arrangement, and 
there is, indeed, some ground for the belief that the Champion Lode 
occupies the position of a thrust plane along which the Dharwar 
rocks have overridden. The quartzites are of the type already 

- Plan 

Cross Cur 

bio Level 

Fig. 92. "Rolls" in Champion Reef, Kolar, India (Hatch). 

described, and are developed as a low serrated ridge on the western 
side of the belt. Several diabasic dykes occur, the largest in the auri- 
ferous area being fairly parallel with the foliation of the schist. 
Others are, however, transverse to the foliation. 

Several parallel quartz lodes are known on the Kolar field, but 
of these only one, the Champion Reef, has as yet proved of economic 
importance. From it, the gold yield of the field, and practically 
of India, is derived. It carries five large mines (Mysore, Champion 
Reef, Ooregum, Nundydroog, and Balaghat) along its strike, and 
is payable for at least four miles of its length. It has been 
followed to a depth of 3,740 feet in the Mysore, and 



















INDIA. 255 

3,520 feet in the Ooregum mine. In the northern end of the field 
the reef becomes disordered and no stable mines have been developed 
beyond the Balaghat ; south of the Mysore mine the reef is also ill- 
defined. Its average width is perhaps 4 feet and its dip is with the 
foliation of the enclosing hornblendic schists, viz., about 55 west. 
Owing to its interfoliation with the schists there is a tendency to 
form lenses of quartz, but this feature is not nearly so well marked 
.as on most schistose fields. The walls are, as a rule, well-defined. 
A notable feature is an occasional puckering and folding back of the 
vein on itself forming in places great masses of quartz usually of high 
grade. The axes of the folds generally have a pitch to the north 
in the plane of the vein. This structure is not uncommon in quartz 
veins in dynamically metamorphosed rocks, and has been recorded, 
for example, from Nova Scotia (p. 464) and from California. In the 
case of the Kolar country subsequent mineral reconstitution 
near the lode has largely obliterated the parallel puckerings and 
foldings of the hornblende-schist. Two types of quartz occur, both 
being auriferous. The older is dark bluish-grey, with a vitreous 
lustre, the younger, due to the intrusion of diabasic dykes, is white 
and opaque. The gold occurs for the most part in the former, and 
in characteristic shoots that have a constant pitch to the north within 
the vein. The shoots are generally well separated by stretches of 
barren or very low-grade quartz, or by " pinches " in the lode-fissure 
carrying no quartz at all. The rich shoot in the Mysore mine had 
been worked to a depth of 236 feet by the ancients, who had appar- 
ently grasped the intricacies of Kolar gold-deposition. This great 
shoot had a stoping length of 800 feet with a maximum width of 
35 feet. Its average width was, however, about 4 feet. It has 
maintained its general width and value for a depth on its pitch 
of more than 4,000 feet, and is certainly the most notable shoot 
known in the history of gold-mining. To 1907 the average 
tenor of the ore crushed on the Kolar field was more than an 
ounce per ton over a quantity of more than 6,000,000 tons. 

In addition to gold, the quartz contains pyrite, pyrrhotite, 
arsenopyrite, blende, galena, and chalcopyrite. The amount of 
sulphides present is, however, very small. An interesting occurrence 
is that of veinlets of tourmaline. These are certainly to be ascribed to 
the granite intrusions, that as have already been seen, are common 
on the borders of the schist band. As might have been expected, 
some of the acid intrusions have passed along favouring fissures, 
and occur as aplitic dykes in the Ooregum mine. The diabasic 
dykes of much later age have apparently exercised no appreciable 
effect on the distribution of gold, their influence being restricted 
entirely to the white quartz of younger generation. 



The following table shows the yield of the principal mines of the 
field from the commencement of mining operations to the end of 
1907 : 


Tonnage Crushed. 

Crude Ounces 

Value Sterling. 

Dividends Paid.* 


Champion Reef 


Nundydroog ... 
















* To April 8th, 190S. 

Gadag. Attention was first directed to the Gadag field by the 
report of gold- washings in the Dhoni and Shirhatti streams. The 
district was visited by Newbold in 1 842 and by Aytoun ten years later, 
but the numerous pits were definitely recognised as ancient workings 
only in 1874 by the veteran Indian geologist Bruce Foote, by whom 
the foundation of our knowledge of the Dharwar belts has been laid. 
It was, indeed, his description written at that time a that led to pros- 
pecting in the Gadag district some 26 years later, and eventually to 
the establishment of the present mining companies. It is interesting 
to note here that the discovery of all the ancient mines of southern 
India, with the exception of those of Kolar and the Wainaad, has 
been a direct result of his geological work. It was his published 
description, for example, that induced the late Mr. T. W. Hughes- 
Hughes, also a member of the Geological Survey of India, to 
examine the Maski band, a search that eventually yielded the 
dividend-paying Hutti mine. 

The rocks of the auriferous portion of the Gadag band, crossing 
from east to west, are hornblende-schist, chlorite-schist, argillite, 
felsite, and massive gritty schist. Two main reef series may be 
made out. The eastern lies entirely in a long, narrow band of 
argillite, and follows a highly carbonaceous band in the argillite. 
The total length of the auriferous area is about 8 miles, extending 
from near the village of Nabapur in the north, to the Sangli mines in 
the south. Along its length are scattered numerous old workings, 
the majority of which are now being vigorously prospected. The 
reefs are permanent, but vary locally both in width and in value. 
They show the lenticular, en echelon structure characteristic of 
veins in schistose rocks. The quartz is typically associated with 
graphitic ' pug," the graphite being obviously derived from the 
enclosing carbonaceous argillite. Pyrite is naturally abundant in the 

"Rec. Geol. Surv. India, XXI, 1SS6, p. 40. 

Plate VII. 

Dharwar Schists, Saxgli. Ixdia. 




country of the veins. The principal mine on the band is the Dhar- 
war Reefs, near Kabligatti village. It has reached a depth of 940 
feet, bottoming the ancient workings at 250 feet. It is the only 
producing company on the field, commencing crushing with a 
20-stamp mill in February, 1907. From that month to April, 
1908, it had crushed for the fifteen months 15,739 tons ore for a 
yield of 7,302 crude ounces, worth about 27,700. The tailings, which 
were still to be treated, contained about 4 dwts. gold per ton. The 
other mines on the belt, including those of Sangli, are still in the 
prospecting stage. 

Four miles west of the foregoing is the Hosur series of reefs. 
So far as may be made out, for the surface is largely covered with 

a Banded Quarttte * Quarts flwphun|. 

9 Mass.c Cfttty &HsS 3 Hornblende- SchiiT. 
a Arjjlllite. z. Diabase-Schist. 

J. Conglomerate. I. Granite-Gneiss 

.-Old Worklnjp. 

Fig. 94. Geology of the Neighboukhood of the Gadag Mines. India. 

cotton soil, these lie in chlorite-schist and massive gritty schist near 
felsite. These mines carry no graphite, and are still in the development 
stage. Hornblende-schists similar to those of Kolar occur on the 
eastern side of the belt, but are not known to carry auriferous 

Hutti. The Hutti mine lies within the boundaries of the 
Maski band, as first described by Foote. This schist belt lies south 
of the Kristna river in the Lingsugur division of the Nizam's 
Dominions. Its auriferous veins were discovered by Mr. T. W. 
Hughes-Hughes in 1887, his search, as already mentioned, being 
based on Bruce Foote's geological work. In 1887 the rights to the 
minerals within the Hyderabad State were bought by the Hyderabad 
(Deccan) Company. From first to last, this company, together 


258 Asia. 

with a subsidiary company (Wondalli), expended some 400,000 
on gold-mining in the district. Numerous ancient workings were 
discovered and a few were opened up. The Wondalli veins a few 
miles from Hutti were taken over and operated by the above- 
mentioned subsidiary company and gold to the value of 60,000 was 
won, all of which went back into the mine. No profit was made, 
and the company ceased operations in 1900. Its most productive 
year had been 1899, when 18,970 tons were crushed for a yield of 
7,822 ounces. The whole history of gold-mining by these com- 
panies was characterised by extravagance and general disregard of 
mining economics. A mine opened at Boodinnie, south of Wondalli, 
was worked long after it should have been obvious that the stone 
obtained was too poor to pay even milling expenses. The quartz 
was nevertheless crushed. 

The bright page in the history of the field was opened with the 
formation of the Hutti company with a capital of 55,000. Mining 
at Hutti commenced in 1901, and crushing in February of 1903. 
Its career has been uniformly successful. To the end of 1907 the 
30-head mill had crushed 104,065 tons quartz for 56,894 crude 
ounces worth 216,927, and had paid dividends of 29,902 and 
royalties of 11,000. It will, from the foregoing figures, be 
obvious that, considering the high mining costs due to the 
distance (45 miles) of the mine from the nearest railway station 
(Raichur), the quartz must be regarded as low-grade. All fuel 
and mine-supplies are carried by bullock-cart over ill-made sandy 
and stony roads. 

At Hutti the deepest modern workings have reached 1,440 feet. 
The ancient workings were finally bottomed at 620 feet. 

Of late years several prospecting companies have been formed 
to work neighbouring veins at Topuldodi, south-east of Wondalli, 
and in the Shorapur district across the Kristna river, but in no case 
have the results obtained been sufficiently encouraging to warrant 
the formation of mining companies with large capitals, and 
prospecting has now practically ceased. 

The Maski band of Dharwar schists in which the Hutti mine 
lies, is some 7 to 8 miles in width, and stretches in an approximately 
meridional direction for about 45 miles across the Raichur Doab. 
The chief members of the schistose series are hornblende- 
schist, altered diabase, chlorite-schist, and acid schistose rocks, the 
last possibly representing altered porphyries. The whole complex 
is crossed by younger diabasic dykes, while along the northern 
boundary the schists have been attacked by granite intrusions. 
Along the eastern border of the belt are pebbly conglomerates and 
other original sedimentary members. 

INDIA. 259 

The veins of the Hutti, Topuldodi, and Wondalli mines are in a 
hornblende-schist precisely similar to that of the Kolar field. The 
Boodinnie vein lay, however, in a soft chlorite-schist. The Hutti 
vein, the only one of present importance, lies near the western border 
of the belt and strikes parallel with the line of contact of granite 
and schist. In it vein-quartz of both older and younger generation 
are found, the older dark chalcedonic bluish-grey variety being 
auriferous, the younger white form poor or barren. The last is 
especially abundant near a diabase dyke crossing the north-west end 
of the Hutti lode-channel. The vein conforms with the schistosity 
of the country, dipping at a high angle to the west. The quartz is 
disposed in lenses of an average diameter of perhaps 100 feet, and 
a maximum thickness of 5 feet. Their edges overlap en echelon, 
both laterally and vertically. The ore, therefore, lies rather in a 
lode-channel than in a continuous quartz vein. 

Anantapur. The schist belt in which the Anantapur mines 
are situated was discovered by Mr. E. W. Wetherell, of the Mysore 
Geological Survey in March, 1902. It lies in the Madras Presidency 
about 9 miles from Nagasamudram station on the Southern Mahratta 
railway. Prospecting here was commenced in April, 1906. Old 
workings are fairly numerous on the three main reefs of the central 
portion. So far as is yet known, the ancients do not appear to have 
reached a greater depth than 118 feet. 

Tumkur. The Bellara and Bodimardi veins, in the Gadag- 
Seringapatam belt near Chitaldroog, lie either in diabase or in a 
chloritic-schist with which are associated argillaceous and 
ferruginous schists and some limestones and conglomerates. The 
quartz is generally small and of low-grade, but may rise in width 
to 3 \ feet, with a value of \ to \\ ounces per ton. Numerous old 
workings have been prospected in this neighbourhood, but none have 
yielded a mine, though a depth of 380 feet was reached in the 
Bellara property. 

Coimbatore. Numerous old native workings for gold occur in 
the Kollegal and Satyamangalam taluks of the Coimbatore district ; 
but the veins are small and unimportant. Considerable unsuccessful 
prospecting work has been carried on at the Haddabanatta and 
Bensibetta. The rock in which the veins lie is schistose, and is 
probably to be correlated with the Dharwars. 

Wainaad. This field demands mention rather from its past 
history than for the value of its gold-quartz veins. It lies to the 
west-north-west of Ootacamund on the slopes of the Western 
Ghauts. Its gold veins and the alluvial deposits derived therefrom 
have been worked for many centuries by native methods. They 

260 ASIA. 

appear to have attracted the attention of Europeans about 179.3,, 
and from thence to 1865 they were the subject of various recommen- 
dations and reports. During the earlier years of the nineteenth 
century they had been worked by slave labour. With the abolition 
of slavery and the demand for labour on the coffee plantations of the 
vicinity, work in the mines ceased almost completely. In 1 865 the 
field was visited by Australian miners, and a little prospecting, result- 
ing in the erection of a quartz-mill, undertaken on the gold-quartz 
veins. These early explorations met with little or no success. 
Nevertheless, from 1879-81, the field was the scene of one of the most 
extraordinary "booms" of modern history. Numerous companies, 
with an aggregate capital of no less than four millions sterling, 
were called into existence. The proportion of the subscribed capital 
that did not go into the pockets of promoters was squandered mainly 
in expensive and useless machinery, little of which was put into 
actual operation. Theslumpthat followed the "boom " was complete. 
From time to time, however, efforts have been made to reopen some 
of the mines, but these have met with little success. Expert exam- 
ination has shown that the veins are low-grade, but occasionally 
carry rich pockets, too small to exercise any notable effect on 
the general tenor of the quartz, but sufficient often to raise futile 
hopes in the breasts of shareholders. An extended examination of 
the better-known veins was made in 1900 by Dr. Hatch and 
Mr. Hay den, of the Indian Geological Survey, with disappointing 
results. The general average of numerous samples was only 2 dwts. 
per ton over a width of 5 4 feet." 

The country of the veins is biotite-gneiss, which, together with 
other metamorphic types, occurs with dubious Dharwarian rocks, all 
being penetrated by basic and acid intrusives. The veins run 
obliquely to the foliation of the gneiss, and are occasionally of 
considerable width. They are often pyritous, furnishing pyrite, 
marcasite, mispickel, &c. The pyrite is the chief source of the 
auriferous values ; and the free gold occurring is derived from its 
decomposition. The figures of the crushings in bulk uniformly 
bear evidence of the low grade of the veins. Thus up to the beginning 
of 1883, some 3,597 tons had been crushed for a yield of only 482 
ounces, or nearly 2 7 dwts. per ton. 

Elsewhere in India, vein mining has been carried on far to the 
north of the Dharwar belts shown in the accompanying map. The 
chief district was at Sonapet in Bengal, in the Chota Nagpur Dharwar 
schist area. This was the scene of a notable "boom" in 1891-2, that 
caused considerable, but unfortunately unjustifiable, excitement in 
Calcutta. Only a few ounces of gold were obtained from the principal 

Mem. Geol. Sixty. India, XXXIII, 1902, p. 30. 

INDIA. 261 

mine, and it is doubtful whether even these few were the natural 
product of the mines. Despite the lack of gold, companies with an 
aggregate capital of a million sterling were formed. In this district 
gold-quartz veins will probably yet be discovered near Raigara, in 
the jungles west of Chakhardhapur, on the Bengal-Nagpur railway, 
since numerous crushing and rubbing stones have been found there, 
recalling those known from the outcrops of the gold-quartz veins of 
southern India. Occasional small patches of gold, generally asso- 
ciated with galena in cavities in a porous quartz, have indeed been 
found in the Chota Nagpur area. Of these, the largest was at Pahar- 
diah, near Manharpur. It yielded a few pounds only of very rich 
" specimen " stone, plentifully bespattered with gold. 

Alluvial Gold. In few countries is alluvial gold more widely 
distributed, and in few countries also does it show less tendency to 
aggregation under the influence of running water. Regarded as 
a whole, the seasons of India may, from the alluvial miner's point 
of view, be divided into dry and wet. The duration of the latter 
is about four months, and nearly the whole of an abundant rain- 
fall takes place in that time. In consequence, the rivers are, during 
the monsoon, raging floods that change their direction across their 
flood plains from day to day. The gravel deposit of one day is 
therefore either broken up and its gold widely dispersed by 
the flood of the next week, or it is covered by the next flood 
with many feet of fine sand. The only concentration possible 
under these conditions is that of the flaky flood-gold which, 
as the river is falling, is caught in the natural riffles provided 
by the stony gravel bars and beaches formed at the head or 
at the tail of an island, at the lower end of a long pool, or on 
the convex curve of an ox-bow in the river. The deposition of gold 
on a bottom is generally impossible. On the other hand, in the cen- 
tral Deccan, where auriferous schist belts occur, the rainfall is too 
slight (below 20 inches), under the tropical conditions prevailing, 
to permit of aqueous concentration of gold in quantity ; further, 
the change from regions of low rainfall to those of high monsoon fall 
is confined to bands of only a few miles in width, parallel to the 
coast, and situated at the edge of the Ghauts. 

Alluvial gold is, nevertheless, found in minute quantities 
wherever streams drain areas of the old schist rock, and wherever 
they at the same time have a grade suitable for the carriage and 
deposition of gravel. Such conditions obtain in many streams in 
Mysore, Madras, Bombay, Hyderabad, Central India, and Chota 
Nagpur, but in no case, so far as is yet known, are the gravels suffi- 
ciently rich to warrant European examination, though in many 
places they afford a few weeks' employment during the cold weather 

2G2 asia. 

to the native washer, who is content to work for a return of ljd. to 
2d. per day. In the west of Chota Nagpur a few men are em- 
ployed at gold-washing all the year round, but ordinarily they com- 
bine with the pursuit of gold-washing, one or more of the more menial 
occupations of the Indian village. Where the gravels are very poor, 
the work of washing is left entirely to women and children. A very 
small quantity of gold is thus annually obtained, and seeing that 
climatic conditions have not varied greatly during the historial cen- 
turies, it is exceedingly improbable that the yield of alluvial gold in 
India was ever extensive. 

From a metalliferous point of view the Himalayas are singularly 
barren. There has never been manifested in this uplift that extru- 
sion of igneous magmas of which metalliferous impregnation appears 
to be an inevitable concomitant. The streams flowing from and 
through this great range are therefore as a rule devoid of gold. 
Above Attock, and in the upper waters of the Indus, and in the 
Alakananda are small gravel banks that are even now worked. Much 
of this gold is probably derived from the Tibetan plateau, since many 
of the Indo-Gangetic streams have pushed through the main range 
and captured some of the drainage channels of that region. In 
Upper Assam also, streams that flow from the north into the 
Brahmaputra, as the Subansiri, carry small quantities of gold. One 
small bar near the mouth of the Subansiri gorge yielded on examina- 
tion at the rate of more than a pennyweight per cubic yard. The 
quantity of gravel available was, however, very small. It is probable, 
also, that some of the gold of this region is derived by a re-wash of 
the Tipam (Siwalik) sandstone that wraps round the Brahmaputra 
Valley, both on the north and on the south. For the gold of 
the Lohit (or sacred) branch of the Brahmaputra, a source must 
be sought in the metamorphic rocks of Miju ranges in the head- 
waters of that river. a 

The methods of the native washers of India are extremely 
primitive. Their implements are the wooden batea or a short 
inclined trough, with rude sieves and scrapers. In the use of these 
they are, however, extremely expert, since they have had always 
to deal with flaky flood gold that necessitates extreme care in its 
use. Like native washers in Sumatra and in Colombia, the Kols of 
Chota Nagpur use the soapy juice of the leaves of a tree (in this case 
a creeper, Combretum decandrum) to facilitate the separation of the 
fine gold from the associated black sand left behind in the batea as 
the last residue on washing. h 

1 Maclaren, " Auriferous Occurrences of Upper Assam," Rec. Geo!. Surv. India, 
XXXI, 1904, p. 179. 

b Maclaren, lb., XXXI, 1904, p. 66. 



The total gold yield of India during the present century is 
shown in the attached table : 


Crude Ounces. 

Value, Sterling. 




















The existence of alluvial gold in Ceylon has been known for many 
years. Search was made for it under the direction of Sir Samuel 
Baker in 1854, and by others in later years. In 1902-3 Mr. C. G. 
Dixon reported it to be widely distributed in small quantities in the 
central, western, and southern portions of the island. Dr. A. K. 
Coomara-Swamy in 1905 directed prospecting operations, finding a 
little gold at Niriella, Weralupe, Marapona, and Dombagammana in 
the Kalu-ganga, or in the We-ganga, its principal tributary. These 
localities lie about 40 miles east-south-east of Colombo. Gold also 
occurs in the head- waters of the Welawe-ganga, especially near 
Balangoda, about 60 miles from Colombo in the same direction as 
the foregoing. Other localities at which gold is occasionally met 
with in the search for gems are the Pellawatta-ganga and the 
Moon Plains, near Nuwara Eliya. a In no case was gold found in 
sufficient quantity to warrant dredging. The grains obtained were 
exceedingly fine, the largest in the possession of the Ceylon Minera- 
logical Survey coming from Balangoda, and weighing no more than 
6-4 grains ( -415 gramme). Native washers work the gravels by a 
rude method of stream sluicing, finishing the concentration in a 
wooden batea, or even in a cocoa-nut shell. The gold would appear 
to be derived from the ancient metamorphic rocks of the island. 


Burma has long enjoyed the reputation of possessing rich and 
extensive auriferous deposits. It formed the northern portion of the 
Chryse of Pomponius Mela the Golden Chersonese of Ptolemy. 
As such there was written across it on mediaeval maps, " Here is 
much gold " that alluring legend attached to so many far eastern 
and little known countries. In recent years the pan and the assay 

u Ceylon Administration Reports, 1905, Mineralogical Survey, E. 5. 
b Maclaren, Min. Jour., LXXXII, 1907, p. 113. 



balance of the prospector have gone far towards dispelling the time- 
honoured illusion. Nevertheless, gold is widely distributed through- 
out Upper Burma and those parts of Lower Burma immediately 
adjacent to the mountain ranges. Few gold-quartz veins have been 
brought to light. Those discovered lie either in the Tertiary andesitic 
country between Wuntho and Banmauk in Upper Burma, or in the 
gneissic ranges south of Nam-Kham on the Shweli river. 


Sketch Map 





Fig. 95. Distribution or Gold in Burma. 

The Choukpazat (Kyoukpazat) veins have furnished the only 
gold mines yet worked in Burma. They lie 26 miles north of Wuntho 
and 11 miles from Nankan, the nearest railway station. The region 
is covered with dense jungle, and its rocks are overlain by a heavy 
soil-cap that, together with the jungle, renders geological exploration 
most difficult. The rocks are consolidated and fairly well stratified 
tuffs and breccias of andesitic facies, intruded in places by quartz- 



diorites.^ Veins similar to those at Choukpazat occur at and near 
Legyin, 11 miles further north, and also in the neighbourhood of 
Banmauk. The Choukpazat veins were discovered by Kadu Shan 
washers when following up auriferous shoadings, and were worked by 
them to a depth of 8 to 10 feet. They attracted European capital in 
1894, and were developed for a couple of years with results suffi- 
ciently encouraging to warrant the erection of a light 750-lb. 10- 
stamp mill, to which a cyanide plant was eventually added. Work 
was vigorously and efficiently carried on until 1903, when the 
auriferous shoot, upon which mining had been concentrated, 
pinched out. After considerable exploratory work, unfortunately 
fruitless, the mine was abandoned and the machinery dismantled. 
It is difficult to obtain accurate figures relating to the Choukpazat 
output, since they seem not to have been preserved in the records of 
the Indian Mines Department, and, moreover, where they have been 
supplied by the company they refer often to a financial year ter- 
minating differently from that officially adopted. The following 
figures are probably as close an approximation to the truth as is 
now possible : 

* October to March 31st only. 

The total output Avas therefore presumably a little more than 
8,000 ounces, of a value of, say, 31,000. The highest yield was 
obtained during 1902, when 1,984 ounces, valued at 7,606, were 
produced. The average gold per ton for the seven years available 
is 8-3 dwts. 

Generally speaking, the veins of this andesitic region are highly 
pyritic and low grade. The Choukpazat vein was proved to a 
depth of 420 feet, but the valuable portion appears to have been 
above the 310-feet level. The length of the ore body was about 
240 feet, the vein being cut off to the south-west by an intrusive 

a Gen. Rep. Geol. Surv. India, 1899-1900, p. 63. 

266 asia. 

dyke. On the north-west it pinched out in the country. Its thick- 
ness varied from 2 inches to 10 feet, with an average of 3 feet 
6 inches. Below the 310-feet level the quartz was associated with 
calcite. It was occasionally clean, but more often was well mineralised, 
carrying 5 per cent, of chalcopyrite, pyrite, galena, and franklinite 
(oxide of iron, manganese, and zinc). The last, when separated, 
contained as much as 7 ounces of gold per ton of concentrate, the 
copper and iron pyrites from 2 grains to 18 dwts. per ton, while the 
galena carried nothing. An excellent indicator for gold was altaite, 
the somewhat rare telluride of lead. a Most of the gold was extremely 
fine. The bullion from the plates averaged 850 gold. Total costs 
were about 14s. per ton, labour being cheap and fairly efficient. 
The only other gold-quartz veins reported from Burma are those 
in the gneissic range lying south of the Shweli river in the Northern 
Shan States. These veins are large and heavily mineralised, but 
of very low grade. 

Taking the great Irawadi river first, as its importance naturally 
warrants, poor-gold gravels occur near Prome and at Shwedaung, 
where desultory washing has long been carried on. The next 
auriferous occurrence is 400 miles farther up the river at Shwegu. 
In the Mozit Chaung, near the mouth of the Second Defile, the 
fine gravels appear to be faintly auriferous. From Sinbo, at the 
upper entrance to the Third Defile to the confluence of the Irawadi 
is a distance of about 100 miles. This stretch of river is held by 
the Burma Gold Dredging Company, with head-quarters at the 
riverside station of Myitkyina, the British administrative post 
farthest up the Irawadi. The history of the company dates back 
to 1900, when the question of the practicability of dredging the 
Irawadi gravels was first taken up. Vigorous prospecting during the 
season of 1900-1 showed that dredging was feasible, and in 
1902 a small dredge, bought and dismantled in New Zealand, was 
re-erected at Myitkyina. In October of that year dredging 
operations were commenced. The dredge was small and, being 
square-ended, not altogether suited to the conditions obtaining on the 
Irawadi. Nevertheless, it did most useful prospecting work until 
March, 1904, when a sudden rise in the river brought down so much 
floating debris to be piled against the dredge and head-line that the 
latter parted and the dredge was capsized and lost. It had during 
its prospecting career recovered 441 -69 ounces of gold, of a value 
of 1,680. 5s. Three large dredges were at work on the concession in 
1907. They are fitted with the abnormally powerful winches necessi- 
tated by the great length of head- and side-lines, the width of the 
river occasionally requiring as much as 300 yards of the latter, with 

a Louis, H., Trans. N. Eng. Inst. M.E., XLVI, 1897, p. 129. 



a correspondingly long head-line. The banks of the river are low, 
and there is therefore no possibility under ordinary conditions of 
keeping the lines clear of the water. Every rise of the river brings 
down great quantities of floating timber, constituting one of the 
chief obstacles to dredging when the rainy season is approaching. 
Dredging time is largely broken by the " rains," and may be 
reckoned at eight months in the year. The " wash " itself is coarse 
gravel, with the gold fairly well disseminated throughout. There is 
therefore little or no stripping. Its treatment when raised presents no 
technical difficulties. Small quantities of platinum and platinoid 
metals are recovered with the gold. The returns of the company 
are private, those available from official sources being as 
follows : 








s. d. 
1,401 6 7 

826 16 4 
2,418 10 8 
8,855 6 8 


13,502 3 

The Mole Chaung, after meandering across the old flood-plain 
of the Irawadi, joins that river a little above Bhamo. At its 
debouchure from the hills near Nalon gravels were found which were 
for a time considered to promise payable results. They have since 
been thoroughly prospected with a Keystone drill, and are now 
considered to be valueless. The Nalon gravels are possibly a re- wash 
of ancient high-level Irawadi gravels, the great river having flowed 
here under the Chinese frontier hills before it forsook its broad flood- 
plain to flow through the narrow Third Defile. A little desultory 
washing of no importance is carried on near Myothit on the Taiping 
river east of Bhamo. 

The great western tributary of the Irawadi, the Chindwin, 
carries a little gold wherever gravels occur along its course. In 
one spot alone viz., Helaw, are the gravels sufficiently rich to 
attract more than passing attention from even the native 
washer, who is, in Burma, generally a woman. Near Helaw 
the Chindwin widens, and its waters, on a low river, divide 
to form a long gravel island. The island is swept by 
the great floods of the rainy season, and the sand carried away, 
exposing the larger stones that then act as an excellent 
natural riffle-bed in which the gold is caught. As the waters subside 
and uncover the head of the island, the Burmese washers attack the 
gravel exposed, taking only the surface covering to a depth of about a 

268 . asia. 

foot. During most seasons the results are poor, even from a native 
point of view, but occasionally a lucky concentration takes place. 
The apparatus of the native washer is extremely simple, consisting 
only of a shallow wooden sluice-box in which rough concentration 
is effected, and a wooden batea in which the gold is finally separated 
from the black sand. The average earnings of the washers are 
probably less than four annas (fourpence) per day. 

A concession of that portion of the Chindwin lying between 
Minsin and Homalin about 1 80 miles was granted to the Manda- 
lay Dredging Company. After some preliminary prospecting a 
dredge was obtained, erected at Rangoon, towed up the Irawadi to 
Pakokku, and thence up the Chindwin to Maukkadaw, where it was 
unfortunately stranded. Before it could be refloated the company 
had gone into liquidation, and the dredge was eventually sold to be 
dismantled to go to South America. The Chindwin gravels, there- 
fore, remain virgin ground. 

The Upper Chindwin, from Homalin to Manbin, 130 miles farther 
up, has been examined from time to time by various prospecting 
parties, but, since no concessions have been applied for after pro- 
specting, it has apparently been considered valueless. 

At Kyobin, on the Uyu river, a tributary falling into the 
Chindwin below Homalin, old high-level, false-bedded, auriferous 
gravels occur. These have for some generations been worked by the 
Burmese by a rude method of ground-sluicing. They also have 
attracted the attention of prospectors, but, since no serious work 
has been done on them, are presumably too low in value to return 
interest on the capital necessary. The gold of these gravels is 
brought from the south to its present position by the Chaungyi 
Chaung. This stream drains the andesitic country from Banmauk 
to near Choukpazat, and its gold is derived from the degradation 
of the small pyritic gold-quartz veins already described as occurring 
in that area. The higher reaches of the Uyu as far as the military 
outpost of Hoang-pa have also been prospected, but with little 
success. The Chindwin and its tributaries have, therefore, during the 
past five years, been fairly closely examined, and have, on the whole, 
been considered too poor for further exploitation. Natives still 
wash along the Chaungyi Chaung : at Kyobin : and at Leiksaw, 
but their earnings are in all cases certainly small. 

In the Northern Shan States, on the eastern frontier of Burma, 
there occur numerous short, narrow, but deep valleys opening into 
the Salween gorges. Some of these carry auriferous gravels. The 
Nam-Hsawm, one of the longest on the right bank of the Salween, 
was in former days worked by Chinese, and was taken up in 1905 
by the Namma Gold Dredging Company, with capital raised 

BURMA. 269 

mainly in Rangoon. After preliminary exploration the gravels 
were considered sufficiently rich to warrant the erection of a dredge 
on the ground, an end effected only after overcoming numerous 
difficulties, of which the formation of a road 40 miles long to enable 
the machinery to be placed on the ground was by no means the least. 
After a short run it was found that the value of the gravel had been 
over-estimated, and the dredge was abandoned. It was, in 
1908, being worked by Chinese. South of Namma, near the 
Loi-Twang mountain, are native gold washings. These have 
been exhaustively investigated by the Geological Survey of 
India," and have been proved to be of no commercial value. Accord- 
ing to the Burmese and the Shans, the streams of the Wa country 
across the Salween opposite Namma are highly auriferous. More 
particularly is this so in the case of the Shwe-Thamin-Chaung (the 
Stream of the Golden Deer). Yet the only expedition that has 
entered this country failed to find gold in this valley. It is true, 
however, that the expedition halted only for two or three hours at 
the stream, and that it had no gold-washers with it. In the Wa 
country the King's writ does not run, and as the wilder Was are 
inveterate head-hunters, requiring, indeed, fresh heads every spring 
to ensure the success of the crops of the forthcoming season, the 
potentialities of wealth concealed in their valleys have hitherto 
failed to attract the private prospector. 

In Lower Burma the gravels of the Sittaung at Shwegyin were 
formerly washed by the natives. These washings, though poor, are 
of great antiquity, and were farmed out by the kings of Burma prior 
to British occupation. In the Tenasserim province gold is reported 
from the Ye river, and also from the Henze Basin, in the latter 
place occurring with the tin-wash. The various tributaries of the 
Tenasserim river, besides carrying tin, are more or less auriferous. 
One of these, the Khamaungthwe, about 30 miles east of Tavoy, 
has been granted to a syndicate, by whom a considerable sum has 
been spent in prospecting operations. 

Of regions now inaccessible to the ordinary prospector, the 
Hukong Valley, at the head of the Chindwin river, and Hkamti-Long 
at the head of the Irawadi, are the most noteworthy. Coarse 
gold has been known for many years to exist in the former valley. 
There it is worked by the Kachins, mainly with slave labour. The 
richest streams are reported to be the Kapdup and the Nam Kwan. 
The Hkamti-Long country, on the other hand, promises deposits 
rather in veins in the older metamorphic rocks of the Miju and the 
Zayul ranges than in the alluvial of the rivers. So far as is known, 
gold is not sought for in Hkamti-Long. 

a La Touche, Rec. Geol. Surv. India, XXXV, 1907, p. 102. 

270 ASIA. 

To sum up the history of gold exploration in Burma : Gold- 
quartz veins have been found, but have proved small in extent 
and erratic in value, while of all Burma's numerous auriferous allu- 
vial deposits none have been considered worthy of extended trial 
except those owned by the Burma Gold Dredging Company above 
Myitkyina. There three dredges were at work in 1907 with results 
considered so satisfactory that a fourth dredge of greater capacity 
than any of its predecessors was being built. 


Chi-li. Numerous gold deposits, both vein and alluvial, are 
known to exist in the mountainous portion of the Chi-li 
province lying north and north-west of Pekin. The vein 
deposits appear to be confined entirely to the Archaean and Cam- 
brian (Sinian) system of plutonic and metamorphic rocks, occurring 
indiscriminately in amphibolitic schists, quartzites and limestones. 
Intrusive volcanic rocks (basalt, andesite, and rhyolite) occur in 
scattered areas/' So far as they are known, the gold-quartz veins 
of Chi-li are, with few exceptions, very thin and small. Perhaps the 
most notable exception is the gold vein of Chin-chang-kou-liang 
(Long. 119 56' E. ; Lat. 42 20' N.), 40 miles north-west of Chau- 
yang. It has been worked for many years, and has indeed 
been driven on for 4,000 feet. The vein is from 4 inches to 3 feet 
in width, and may occasionally widen to 6J to 7 feet. The oxida- 
tion zone reaches a depth of 200 feet. The values occur in shoots. 
The ore is highly pyritous, carrying 10 per cent, of sulphides (galena, 
chalcopyrite, pyrite, and blende). Nevertheless, 60 per cent, of 
the gold is free-milling. The country is amphibolite-schist, 
resembling very closely an altered diabase. 6 The production of the 
mine in 1901 was about 200 tons per month, the ore averaging an 
ounce per ton. In six years it had yielded to native workmen 
43,000 ounces gold from 39,000 tons ore. 

Near Chuan-shan-tsze (Long. 119 12' E. ; Lat. 42 26' N.) 
is another of the exceptions to the general rule of the smallness and 
poverty of Chi-li veins. The mine lies in amphibolite-schist about 
3 miles (8 li) east of the village. The vein is 4 inches to 3 feet 
wide, and is composed of pyritous quartz. The ore-shoot appears 
to be about 300 feet in length. According to Vogelsang, it has been 
opened to a depth of 1,100 feet. The ore is raised by a horse-whim. 
On the surface it is heated to make it brittle, is quenched with water, 

a Hoover, Trans. Inst. Min. Met., VIII, 1900, p. 324. 

" Vogelsang, " Reisen im nordlichen und mittlern China," Peterm. Mittheil., 
.LVTI, 1901, pp. 245 et seq. 

CHINA. 271 

broken to nuts with a hammer, and ground between stone rollers. 
Fifteen such rollers are used, each actuated by two mules. The 
capacity of each mill is 4001bs. (300 catties) in 24 hours. Concen- 
tration is effected on sloping tables and the final separation is per- 
formed in the batea. The average tenor of the ore is one ounce per 
ton. The annual production is 700 ounces. About 200 workmen 
are employed. Six per cent, royalty is charged by the Tu-tung 
(prefect) of Jehol. Near Yu-erh-yai (Long. 118 27' E. ; Lat. 40 
34' N.) small gold-quartz veins lie at the contact of metamorphic 
limestone, with a granite. Other veins are known in the Jehol 
prefecture in a gabbroid rock, in diabase, and in granite. 

In few places in Chi-li has gold-quartz mining been profit- 
able to the native owners, and despite the fact that the 
country has obviously been most carefully prospected, few 
important auriferous vein occurrences are known. The 
placer deposits of Chi-li, on the other hand, are compara- 
tively rich, and indeed furnish the greater proportion of the 
gold obtained from the province. The vicinity of Ching-chang- 
kou-liang, mentioned already as possessing a rich quartz vein, was 
especially productive, as is evidenced by the fact that the Chinese 
have driven a tunnel 3,000 feet in length, to drain a buried alluvial 
basin. General depression of the country has hidden much of the 
ancient river-channel system beneath great thicknesses of alluvium 
and of loess. The total gold production of Chi-li in 1898 was esti- 
mated at 50,000 ounces. 

Shantung. The geology of the Shantung province, so far as it 
concerns metalliferous deposits, is identical with that of Chi-li. 
Gold-quartz veins are, however, not so widely distributed, nor is the 
yield of gold so large, being for 1898 only 6,000 ounces. The 
principal gold mine appears to be the Chow-yen (Mountain of Gold), 
40 miles from Chefoo, discovered and worked as long ago as 1620 a.d. 
Its vein is of great width, ranging from 30 to 90 feet for a length of a 
mile. The ore occurs in indefinite shoots, and carries from 15 to 
20 per cent, pyrites, the latter often occurring in great masses. The 
ore is distinctly low-grade. Forty per cent, of the gold is free." The 
mine is estimated to contain about 200,000 tons available ore, 
worth about 2 per ton. It is owned by Chinese. 6 Gold mines 
were opened at P'ing-tu, also in the Shantung province, in 1884. 
The ore is highly pyritous, and the lode has been worked down to 
the sulphide-level. The concentrates from the primitive stamp mills 
are sold, after treatment and re-treatment, to native farmers, who 
carry them home and occupy their leisure time in the winter months 

a Hoover, loc. cit. sup. 

6 Curie, " Gold Mines of the World," London, 1905, p. 216. 



in fine-grinding and re-panning the pyrites. Other auriferous 
occurrences are known and have been mentioned by various writers, 
but none appear to be of sufficient extent or value to warrant 
detailed description. 

Weihaiwci. Mining operations, both on placers and on veins, 
have been carried on in the vicinity of Weihaiwei for many years 
by the Chinese. Vein-mining was, however, confined to the outcrops 
and oxidised zones of the reefs, where the gold was free and easily 
saved. In 1902 the Weihaiwei Gold Company was formed to work 
a vein, the outcrop of which had already been attacked by the 
Chinese. The mine lay among low hills at an altitude of 5,000 feet 
above sea-level, and at a distance of 10 miles from the port of Wei- 
haiwei. The country of the vein is gneiss, traversed both by acidic 
and by basic dykes, the acidic (aplite and pegmatite) being crossed 
by the basic intrusives. The ore-body was some 20 feet in width, 
and gave an average assay value of 37s. 6d. over the whole width." 
Free gold, to the extent of 25 per cent, of the total yield, was accom- 
panied by auriferous pyrite, galena, and chalcopyrite. The quartz 
of the vein appeared to largely replace an original dyke. The 
company erected a 20-stamp mill, and for some time treated 2,500 tons 

Fig. 96. Oke-shoots ih Aplitic Dyke, Weihaiwei (Versclioyle). 
1. Gneiss with pegmatite veins. 2. Aplitic dykes. 3. Diorite dykes. 

of 5| dwt. ore per month, but considerable difficulty was experienced 
in treating the sulphide ores, which were eventually shipped to 
smelters in America for treatment. Operations were never very 
profitable and eventually ceased in 1907. 

Szechuen. Little is known of the auriferous occurrences of 
Szechuen province. The beaches of the Upper Yang-tse in several 

a Versclioyle, Eng. Min. Jour., Nov. 17, 1906, p. 919. 

CHINA. 273 

places afford a scanty livelihood to gold-washers, who work over the 
gravels renewed from year to year by the floods of the wet season. 
The only gold mine of any size known to Europeans is at Maha 
(Long. 102 05' E. ; Lat. 28 15' N.) Although alluvial gold has been 
recovered from this neighbourhood for many years, the gold-quartz 
veins of Maha have been worked only since 1880. At one time no 
less than 15,000 men were employed. The ore is crushed partly 
by Huntington mills and partly by 80 primitive Chinese stamps 
actuated by 40 overshot wheels. The mine is situated at an altitude 
of 10,000 feet." Alluvial gold in small quantity is reported also 
from Kai-ja, 25 miles south-west of Maha ; from Yen-Ching (Long. 
101 45' E. ; Lat, 27 25' N.) ; and from the sands of the Fu above 

Deserted gold mines are known near Feng-ko on the Upper 
Yangtse (Long. 100 30' E. ; Lat. 27 45' N.) ; theMuli (Tibetan) 
country further north on the Lithang river produces considerable 
quantities of gold-dust. b 

Yunnan. In Yunnan numerous small gold mines occur along 
the north- and south-running geomorphic folds developed by great 
Miocene movements. The gold-quartz veins have been exposed 
only by native labour, and no foreign work has as yet been 
permitted. The only mine actually producing gold in 1907 was 
that of Ta-lan (Talangting), famous throughout Yunnan. Its 
glories have been depicted in glowing terms to the present writer 
even in a region as far distant from Ta-lan as the Shan States. 
Ta-lan is situated exactly on the Tropic of Cancer in east 
long. 101 45'. The mines lie nine miles from the town in the 
hills to the north-east, and are at an elevation of some 7,300 feet 
above sea-level. Here intrusive volcanic rocks have broken through 
the Palseozoic shales, slates, sandstones, and limestones of the 
Yunnan plateau. Throughout the intrusive rock are fine veins of 
quartz. The auriferous area is said to cover about a square mile. 
Some 3,000 men are employed, and work in the crudest fashion. The 
output is nominally about 3,000 ounces per annum, but is probably 
much more. The mines have been worked for some 60 years, the 
Chinese Government receiving a royalty of 18 per cent. The ore is 
broken up with hammers and then pounded fine in an ordinary 
self-acting paddy (rice) mortar. It is then washed over grooved 
tables. The loss is evidently great, as many men make a liveli- 
hood by collecting and re-washing the tailings. The gold is 
apparently unevenly distributed in the veins, and rich pockets are 

a Jack, " The Back Blocks of China," London, 1904, p. 101. 

b Johnston, " From Peking to Mandalay," London, 1908, p. 238. 

c Leclere, Ann. des Mines, Ser. 9, XX, 1901, p. 445. 


274 asia. 

occasionally met with. A yield of an ounce to the ton (5 fen to 
100 catties) is considered to be the lowest payable return. The 
oxidised zones yield occasionally as much as 20 ounces per ton. 
Owing to the crude methods of working the total output of quartz 
per miner is probably a little more than two tons per annum. 
It is probable that the Ta-lan intrusive rock is an andesite of 
the same character as that which occurs sporadically in Burma. 

At Kin-kiang, about 60 miles from Tali-fu, and at the spot at 
which the Blue river takes the name of Kin-cha-kiang, are rich con- 
glomerate beds, perhaps 100 yards in thickness. Their tenor is 
unknown, but 500 gold-washers are engaged in working on them. 
The washers use wooden trays much like those in vogue in India 
and Burma. Their earnings are certainly small, perhaps no more 
than 3d. to 6d. (1| to 3 grains gold) per day. These workings 
have been known since at least the 24th year of Kang-hi (1685 a.d.). 

Jack heard of gold mines, both in quartz and alluvial, two 
stages from Manwyne, on the Shweli (Loonkiang) river ; and also 
of gold-quartz veins in the mountains between the Mekhong and 
the Salween at about 27 20' north latitude. 

Gamier b heard of four gold mines in Yunnan, viz., that at 
Kin-cha-kiang, above-mentioned ; at Ma-ku (opened in 1730 a.d.), 
on the borders of Yunnan, and near Linngan ; Ma-kang 
(opened 1744 a.d.), south of Tchong-tien, and west of the 
famous silver mines of Ngan-nan ; and Houang-tsao-pa to 
the west of Teng-yueh. The last is possibly that mentioned by 
Jack as lying two marches from Manwyne, though the positions 
given do not exactly coincide. 

Fo-Kien. A valuable goldfield is said to exist in the Shao-wu 
(Cha-oo) district of Fo-Kien province. Shao-wu lies about 150 miles 
north-west of Foo-chow, and is on the eastern flanks of the Yung- 
ling mountains. 

The total gold output of China cannot of course be estimated 
with an approach to accuracy, but may be considered to range 
between 300,000 and 400,000 per annum. 


Liau-tung Peninsula. The auriferous deposits of the Liau- 
tung Peninsula are divided by Bogdanovitch c into four classes : 
(a) Those in existing stream beds : These are of little importance. 
The Chinese wash the annually formed surface deposits from year to 

a Loc. cit. sup. 

b Voyage d'Exploration en Indo-Chinie, 1867, I, p. 230. 

c Materialen zur GeologieTlusslands, XX, 1900, p. 240. 


year, and always, of course, at the same spots in the stream beds. 
(6) Pleistocene high-level gravels : These are worked east of Laio- 
tie-chan, near the village of Chandze-toun (121 12' E. ; 38 43' N.) 
to the south-west of Port Arthur. The pay-gravel is extracted 
by sinking closely adjacent pits through the overburden and en- 
larging these at the bottom when the pay-streak is reached. The 
overburden is only from 5 \ to 1\ feet thick, while the pay-streak is from 
6 to 8 inches deep. The tenor of the latter is from 9 to 14 grains per 
metric ton. (c) Ancient valley alluvials : Four pits sunk on the 
eastern slope of Laio-tie-chan proved the presence of an auriferous 
gravel bed. Its thickness varied from 2 to 4 feet, while that of the 
barren overburden was from 9 to 27 feet. The Chinese dug to 
bed-rock, finding fairly coarse grains of gold on the bottom. The 
tenor of the pay-streak was from 7 to 14 grains per metric ton. 
(d) Auriferous marine placers formed by the concentrating action of 
the sea waves and currents on the gravels brought down by the 
streams from the above-mentioned deposits : the Chinese work 
these placers during ebb-tide, the greatest width of beach exposed 
being some 60 yards. The thickness of the black-sand beds thus 
rendered accessible is about a foot. They lie on the upturned 
edges of argillaceous strata. The Chinese gather the sand as far 
seaward as possible, since the further out, the fewer pebbles there 
are. Fifteen Chinamen can recover 2| tons of sand mixed with 
pebbles in one ebb-tide. On washing, this quantity yields 2-6 
ounces (81 grammes) gold in grains and slugs of a fineness of 869. 
During two ebb-tides at the end of November, and under the 
above conditions, Bogdanovitch collected 5-3 ounces (166 grammes), 
in which was a slug of 1-77 ounces (55-4 grammes). The old gravels 
near Pei-lien-tsa were discovered about 1874 and the marine 
placers much later. Very low-grade thin gold-quartz veins traverse 
the quartzose and argillaceous schists of the neighbourhood, and 
the degradation of these has probably furnished the gold of the 
auriferous sands and gravels. 

Both recent and high-level gravels occur in the neighbourhood 
of Port Arthur, and also to the east at Siao-pin-tao (Long. 121 30' 
E. ; Lat. 38 49' N.). Here also there is a marine placer, at the base 
of which pebbles containing gold are occasionally found. Else- 
where in the Liau-tung peninsula gold is found to the east of Port 
Adams near the lake Gou-tsia-pao-tsi (Long. 122 02' E. ; Lat. 39 
24' N.), where the Chinese have exploited deep placers. Auriferous 
veins occur in the neighbourhood of the lake in the Taku-chan series 
of rocks. Similar auriferous alluvial deposits occur near the temple 
of Youhon-din-miao, and near the village of Chou-tsia-toun-pei-gu, 
about 15 J miles south-west of Pi-tsze-wo. These lie on amphi- 
bolitic schists and gneisses, that are intruded by pyritous granite- 

276 asia. 

porphyry closely resembling the beresite (microgranite) of the 
Urals. Assays of adjacent veins gave from 1 to 5 dwts. gold per 
metric ton. The pyrites was also auriferous, averaging in tenor 
about 1 dwt. gold, though exceptional assays showed results as high 
as 32 ounces per metric ton. a 

In Northern Manchuria several rich gold deposits are believed 
bo exist. Von Cholnoki^ reports an auriferous bed in the basin of 
the San-tao, originating apparently from the degradation of gold- 
quartz veins in granite and gneiss. At Tsi-tz'-Kouho, near Kirin, 
such veins have been worked. The basin of the Au-hao carries 
gold, as also do the gravels of the Great Chingan, though in both 
cases in small quantities. The gold mines of the province of Cheilun- 
tzian (Heilungchiang), which since the Boxer troubles had been 
seized by the Russians, were restored to the Chinese in 1907. Three 
mines are known : Quan-in-chan, Mo-che, and Quan-che. These 
were, after their resumption by the Chinese, worked directly by 
Chinese officials, but, the venture proving unsuccessful, they were 
handed back to the native Manchurian miners, the Chinese Govern- 
ment taking a substantial royalty. 


The median chain of the Korean peninsula is composed of 
ancient crystalline schists and granites through which recent vol- 
canic rocks have been intruded. The general altitude of its higher 
peaks, situated in the north of Korea, where are also the gold-mining 
districts, is from 5,000 to 6,000 feet. The placer deposits of Korea 
have long been worked by the natives and are, or were, until the 
establishment of the Japanese protectorate, the property of the Im- 
perial household. In 1898 concessions to foreigners were granted, 
one to each foreign nation then interested in Korean affairs. They 
were given for a term of 25 years on condition of a payment to the 
Emperor of a royalty of 25 per cent, of the net profits. Four such 
concessions were taken up : one each by Americans, British, Ger- 
mans, and Japanese. The last proved worthless. The German 
concession lay at Tank-kogae, some 100 miles north-east of 
Seoul, and in the centre of a flourishing placer industry 
that had been in existence for 50 years, and where at one 
time 20,000 men had been employed. An extension of a year 

a Pervinquiere, Rev. Scientif., Ser. 5, I, 1904, p. 547. 
6 Foldtani Kozloni, XXIX, 1900, p. 289. 
c Min. Jour., Nov. 2, 1907. 

KOREA. 277 

was given to the native miners to work out their holdings, and 
when the Germans finally took possession, much of the richer 
pay-dirt had been exhausted. The maximum thickness of 
the overburden above the pay-streak is estimated at 75 feet. 
The alluvial gold is fairly coarse, and nuggets of half-an-ounce in 
weight are not rare. The fineness is about 920/ f Extended 
prospecting, both in the alluvial gravels and on the adjacent 
quartz veins from which the alluvial gold had been derived failed 
to yield any deposit of economic value, and the concession was 

The British concession was located at Yuen-san, where a rich 
ore-shoot was worked for some time. On its exhaustion, and on 
the failure of the subsequent endeavours to find new ore-bodies, 
this concession also retroceded to the Korean Crown. 

The American grant, on the other hand, has been profitable 
from the commencement of mining operations. It lies at Unsan 
in the extreme north-west of Korea, near the Manchurian frontier. 
(Long. 126 10' E. ; Lat. 40 02' N.). It has an area of 400 to 500 
square miles, containing three distinct groups of mines separated 
by distances of some 20 miles. The groups are Chittabalbie and 
Maibong ; Kuk San Dong ; and Tabowie and Taracol, forming 
together the Oriental Consolidated Mines. Gold occurs here in 
banded quartz veins in granite. The veins contain a good deal of 
country, which is, as a rule, highly graphitic. The total quantity 
of sulphides present in the ore amounts to 10 per cent. The sul- 
phides are pyrite, galena, and blende ; of these the two last are 
considered certain indications of rich ore. The gold is fine and is 
seldom visible in the quartz. 1 ^ There are five separate stamp-mills 
in operation, one at each of the above-mentioned mines, and in all 
220 stamps are at work. To July, 1906, about a million tons of 
ore had been crushed, for an average recovery of 33s. 4d. per ton. 
Another million tons, worth about 1 per ton, was available. The 
total costs per ton in 1906 were 9s. 3d. The original royalty of 
25 per cent, of the profits has been modified to an annual payment 
of 2,500. The annual produce of these mines is about 250,000. c 

In addition to the foregoing, numerous placers are known 
at Chungkeung (near Kaichchou), Kalmoru (43 miles north of 
Changjim), at Kangwondo, &c, and in Hpyengan-To generally. 
These are still being worked in native fashion, and yield large 
quantities of alluvial gold. In 1894 the production of gold in 

a Hamilton, Min. Jour., June 28, 1902 ; Bauer, Zeit. f iir prakt. Geol., XIII, 
1905, p. 69. 

b Speak, Trans. Inst. Min. Met., XII, 1903, pp. 237, 427. 

c Curie, Eng. Min. Jour., Aug, 18, 1906, p. 296. 



Korea was 195,844 (4,896,120 francs) ; by 1900 it had risen 
to 844,879 (21,121,989 francs)/ 1 
Recent returns are : 



Value, Sterling. 






The long isolation of Japan from the Western World since the 
early years of the seventeenth century is doubtless responsible 
for the general neglect to recognise that Empire as one of the 
chief contributors to the flood of gold that poured into Europe 
during the sixteenth century. European trade with Japan opened 
with the appearance on its shores in 1542 of Mendez Pinto, the Portu- 
guese adventurer, to use no stronger term. By 1600, the export of 
gold had assumed enormous proportions, and thousands of natives 
were engaged in exhausting the more accessible auriferous deposits. 
In 1611 the first signs of revolt against Portuguese domination were 
evinced, and by 1624 the last Portuguese had been expelled after 
an arduous struggle. A few Dutch were permitted to remain and 
to trade, but under the most humiliating conditions. The 
following is the estimated amount of gold exported from the 
country by the Portuguese and the Dutch respectively during the 
period of intercourse : h 

Portuguese 1545-1598 6,000,000 

1599-1625 54,000,000 

Dutch (Gold alone) 





Since the present yield of Japan is only some 350,000 per 
annum, it is probable that the above sums represent the exhaus- 
tion of the placers and the enriched vein outcrops. 

Yezo (Hokkaido). The island of Yezo carries the most impor- 
tant placer deposits in Japan. The source of the gold is quartz 
veins in the Palaeozoic formations. The most celebrated locality 
is Esashi (Lat. 44 55' N. ; Long. 142 30' E.), the Klondike of 

" Pervinquiere, Revue Scientifique, Paris, 5, I, 1904, p. 545. 
h Del. Mar, " History of the Precious Metals," London, 1880, p. 134. 
c Gold and silver, of which probably 20,000,000 was gold. 



Japan. At Esashi in 1899 there were collected 14,358 ounces 
(119,082 momme) including one nugget of 23 9 ounces (198 momme) 
in weight. During 1902 the principal alluvial mines in Hokkaido 
yielded : a 






Numerous alluvial gold occurrences are found in the provinces 
of Kitami, Teshio, Teshiro, Ishikari, Hidaka, Iburi, Shiribeshi, and 
Oshima. & In Ishikari and Hidaka platinum and osmiridium occur 
with the gold. The following table shows the value of the placer- 
gold output of Yezo during recent years : c 





















The only gold-quartz mine of importance in Yezo is the Pon- 
shikaribets mine, lying about 7 miles (3 ri) south of the Yoichi, 
Shiribeshi Province. The country is a Tertiary volcanic tuff often 
intersected by andesite dykes. The veinstone is rhodochrosite and 
quartz, and the accompanying sulphides are auriferous argentite, 
galena, chalcopyrite, and zinc blende. The reefs vary in width 
from 5 inches to 30 feet. The gold yield from this mine for the three 
years 1898-1900 was 115,580 ounces (957,009 momme). 

Honshu (Hondo). Honshu, next to the south, is the largest 
island of the Japanese group. It contains several placer deposits 
of no great importance. Their gold content is derived mainly from 
the degradation of quartz veins in Tertiary andesitic tuffs and 

In the Ugo province in the north of Honshu the chief gold- 
quartz veins are at the Matsuoka and the Okuzu mines. In the 
former the auriferous deposit is a stockwork at the contact of 
liparite, with Tertiary strata. The sulphides are argentiferous 
galena, zinc blende, and pyrite. Its produce is small, being for the 
three years 1898-1900 only 95-6 ounces (794 momme). 

Weigall, Trans. Inst. Min. Met., XV, 1906, p. 206. 
b " Geology of Japan," Tokyo, 1902, p. 130. 
c Gordon, Cons. Rep., 1907. 

280 ASIA. 

The Okuzu mine is 8| miles south-west of the town of Hanawa. 
Its veins were discovered in 1604. The country is Tertiary tuff 
and augite-andesite. The width of the veins varies from a few 
inches to 2 or 3 feet. Chalcopyrite and pyrite and, rarely, sphalerite 
are the associated sulphides. The yield of this mine from 1896 
to 1900 was 1,227 ounces (10,157 momme). 

In the Ugo province the Innai mine, one of the most famous 
silver mines of Japan, produces some 3,000 ounces of gold annually, 
in addition to 400,000 ounces silver. 

In the Iwashiro province some distance north of Tokyo and 
towards the eastern coast, are several gold mines. The Handa 
mine, about a mile west of Kori railway station, is believed to have 
been worked for at least 1,000 years. Its veins run through 
Tertiary strata and liparite, and vary in thickness from 3 to 10 
feet. The veinstone is principally quartz associated with calcite, 
the former being sometimes amethystine in character. The accom- 
panying sulphides are auriferous argentite, together with sphalerite 
and minor quantities of galena, chalcopyrite, pyrite. Native silver 
is occasionally found. The gold yield from 1896 to 1900 was 2,351 
ounces (19,469 momme). The Takadama mine, 2 h miles from 
Atami station, is supposed to have been first worked in the 
ninth century a.d. Its yield is very small, and in its geological 
character it is similar to the Handa mine. 

The Hashidate mine is situated in Echigo province, lh miles 
south-west of Itoigawa, on the west coast. Its values are believed 
to lie in quartz veins in Palaeozoic rocks. a The gold yield for 
1896 to 1900 was 8,043 ounces (66,601 momme). 

The Kaga province, immediately to the south, furnishes two 
gold mines, the Kanahira and the Kuratani, the latter being 14 
miles south of Kanazawa. The country in each case is liparite 
and Tertiary tuffs, traversed by numerous small veins. The vein- 
stone of the former mine is barytes and quartz ; of the latter, 
rhodochrosite, barytes, and calcite. Associated with the gold 
are galena, sphalerite, and pyrite. The yield of the Kanahira veins 
from 1896 to 1900 was 3,443 ounces (28,515 momme), and of the 
Kuratani for the same period was 8,314 ounces (68,843 momme). 

In the Kai province, west of Tokyo, is the Ho mine, which has 
been worked since 1681 a.d. The quartz veins of this mine contain 
native gold in Palaeozoic clay-slate and sandstone. 

The most important mines of Honshu are probably those in 
the Tajima province, north-west of Kioto. The Kosen mine lies 

a Loc. cit. sup., p. 124. 

JAPAX. 281 

near the coast, 10 miles north-west of Toyooka, the principal town 
of Tajima province. Its rock is granite, traversed by propylite 
dykes. Two principal mineral veins are found in the granite, but 
the occurrence is evidently closely related to the younger intrusive 
rocks. The gold occurs with quartz, argentite, pyrite, and galena. 
The Ikuno mines, further south and near the town of Ikuno, are 
perhaps the most famous in Japan. They are said to have been 
discovered in 807 a.d. The three principal mines are the Tasei, 
Kanagase, and Kasei. At the Tasei the country is liparite, pro- 
pylite, and Tertiary volcanic tuffs. Similar rocks occur at Kanagase 
but there they are traversed by basaltic dykes. At the Kasei 
the country is diorite, intersected by liparite and propylite dykes. 
The gangue of the lodes generally is quartz, calcite, and rhodo- 
chrosite, and the gold occurs with argentite, pyrite, chalcopyrite, 
bornite, fahlore, galena, stibnite, pyrargyrite, and sphalerite. The 
veins, as a rule, are very large and of great length. The Kasei 
lode, for example, is 5,300 feet long and nearly 50 feet wide. The 
yield of these mines from 1896 to 1900 inclusive was 16,449 ounces 
(136,202 momme). 

The only other gold mine requiring notice in the main island 
is the Omori, in the Iwami province, due north of Hiroshima. 
This mine was opened about 600 years ago. Its rocks are hyper- 
sthene-quartz-andesite lavas and agglomerates, with which are 
associated Tertiary sedimentary strata. Its deposits fall into two 
groups : The Eikyu, in the solid hypersthene-quartz-andesite, and 
the Hontani stockworks and impregnations in the agglomerate. In 
the former group the veins are 1 to 2 feet thick, and consist of quartz 
and pyrite. The gold is associated generally with chalcopyrite. In 
the Hontani type the ores are native silver, argentite, siderite, and 
malachite. The yield of recent years from this mine has been 

Sado. The Aikawa mine, famous in Japanese annals, is near 
Aikawa, on Sado island, which lies off the north-east coast of 
Honshu. The veins were discovered in 1600 a.d., and yielded 
enormously for many years. They traverse augite-andesite tuffs 
and Tertiary shales. Three principal veins are mined, occasionally 
for great widths, the Aoban, the southernmost, attaining a working 
width of 100 feet. The Torigoe vein, the northernmost, varies 
from 5 to 50 feet, and the Otate from 2 to 10 feet in width. 
The two outer veins have a length of at least 4,000 feet. The 
veinstone is mainly quartz and calcite, at times carrying pearl- 
spar and gypsum. Native gold and silver occurs with argentite, 
chalcopyrite, pyrite, blende, and galena, together with occasional 

282 ASIA. 

specimens of stephanite, pyrargyrite, marcasite, and arsenopyrite. 
The gold yield from 1896 to 1900 was 33,851 ounces (280,292 

Kyushu (Kiushiu). The Kyushu island is the most southerly 
of the large islands of the Japanese group. Its principal mines are in 
the Chikugo and Satsuma provinces. The Hoshino mines, 12 miles 
east of Fukushinia, in the first-named province, are in augite- 
andesite, intrusive through Palaeozoic rocks. The veins are 10 to 
20 feet wide, and are impregnated with pyrite, and more rarely 
with sphalerite. The most productive are the Komuro and the 
Yamo. In the Satsuma province, in the south-west corner of the 
island, are the Serigano, Yamagano, and Kago mines. The first 
is 24 miles north of Kagoshima. It was discovered in 1652, and has 
since been worked almost continuously. The country is augite- 
andesite,and the veins varv in thickness from a few inches to 9 feet. 
Pyrite and chalcopyrite are usually associated with the vein-quartz. 
The yield of the Serigano mine from 1896 to 1900 was 2,052 ounces 
(16,991 momme). 

The Yamagano mine lies 17 miles north of Kajiki, the principal 
town of Osumi province. It was discovered about the same time 
as the Serigano mines, and is said in one year (1659) to have yielded 
about 60,000 ounces of gold. The rocks of the neighbourhood are 
Tertiary shales and sandstones intruded by augite-andesite. The 
andesite is traversed by numerous auriferous veins, the thinner 
veins forming stockworks particularly rich at the intersections. 
The larger veins are often 20 to 30 feet in thickness. The veinstone 
is quartz with calcite and pyrite. Native gold occurs with argentite, 
or, more rarely, with chalcopyrite. From 1896 to 1900 these mines 
produced 11,932 ounces gold (98,801 momme). 

The Kago mines are in the extreme south of the Satsuma 
province, and 3H miles south of Kagoshima. They were discovered in 
1683. The country is Mesozoic clay-slate and sandstone intruded 
by Tertiary quartz-porphyry and andesite dykes, which do not, as 
a rule, appear at the surface. The gangue is quartz and clay. The 
production of these mines is small, not amounting to more than 
700 ounces per annum. 

From the foregoing it will be seen that the majority of the 
gold-quartz veins of Japan have been worked for many generations. 
In these cases the gold of the zones of oxidation and secondary 
enrichment may be expected to have been exhausted, leaving only 
the poorer sulphide zones. In nearly every case it may be noted that 
the gold-quartz veins are associated with Tertiary andesitic 



During recent years the gold yield of Japan, exclusive of that 
of Formosa (given in another place), has been as follows : 

Crude Ounces. 

Crude Ounces. 














FORMOSA (Taiwan). 

Formosa, in common with other Eastern countries, has been 
represented by early European travellers as a repository of untold 
riches. Many of these voyagers, as Ogilby (1671) and Benyowsky 
(1771), enter into most elaborate details concerning the auriferous 
wealth of Formosa. Yet the knowledge of the sites of the old 
workings had, up to 1890, been completely lost. In that year 
flakes of gold were discovered during the construction of a railway 
in the extreme north of the island. Thousands of Chinese, many 
of whom had worked placer deposits in Australia or America, 
flocked across to the new find. At first, individual miner's rights 
were issued by the Chinese authorities, but in 1893, in order to 
lessen the expense of administration, the fields were farmed out 
for 18 months to four wealthy Chinese for the sum of 7,500 (75,000 
yen). a In that year a rich placer deposit was discovered in the 
Kyu-fun mountains, and the fortunate monopolist who possessed 
that portion is believed to have obtained several hundred pounds 
sterling daily for a considerable period. The number of washers 
engaged was very large, and it is estimated that in one year (1893 
to 1894) as much as 200,000 was recovered. In 1894 gold-quartz 
veins were discovered at Kyu-fun by a Chinese miner, who had 
obtained some experience in California, and in the same year, the 
Chinese authorities, in view of the flourishing state of the industry, 
resumed direct control. The island passed to Japan in 1895. 

The principal alluvial fields are along the upper waters of the 
Kelung river, for 20 miles above the village of Suihenkiaka (Long. 
121 39' E. ; Lat. 25 05' N.). Several streams flowing north-east 
to the coast from the Kyu-fun hills also yield alluvial gold. Zui-ho, 
9 miles from Kelung, is practically the centre of the alluvial district. 
Only the long-torn and the cradle have as yet been used by the 
native washers. Other auriferous gravels or veins are known along 
the precipitous and dangerous east coast, access to which is 
equally difficult by sea or by land. These are in the Giran 

a Davidson, " The Island of Formosa," London, 1903, p. 439. 



(Gilan) district ; in the Buroko district, 12 miles south of Giran ; 
near Shinjio, 35 miles south of Suao ; near Shukoran, and in the 
extreme south-west of the island in the Fuko (Hongkong) hills. 
A reference to a geological map of Formosa shows that the above- 
mentioned localities are more or less coincident with exposures of 
Tertiary andesitic rocks. 

The only vein mines now being worked are in the immediate 
vicinity of Zui-ho. The country is composed of Tertiary sedi- 
mentary strata intruded by andesitic dykes." Three Japanese 
companies, the Fujita, Tanaka, and Batanko, are at work. The 
Fujita mines are at Kyu-fun, several hundred feet above sea-level. 
The ore occurs in a highly-decomposed zone, and is so soft that stamps 
have not hitherto been found to be necessary. The zone has been 
traced for 2,500 feet and varies from 2 to 7 feet in width. Within 
60 feet of the ore body are seams of workable coal in the Tertiary 
sedimentary rocks. Similar coal seams are worked in the neighbour- 
hood to furnish motive power for the mines. The rainfall of the 
district, 150 inches per annum falling on 219 days, is, however, so 
great that abundant electric power is readily generated from the 
numerous waterfalls. The mill of the Fujita is on the coast, 6,000 
feet distant from the mine, and is connected with it by an aerial 
tramway. In 1906 the monthly output was some 2,700 tons for a 
yield of 2,150 ounces bullion, 700 fine in gold. 

The Tanaka mines are two in number, one at Kinkwaseki, 
and the other at Batanko. The output is about 2,000 ounces per 
month. b The Kinkwaseki mine is in an area of Tertiary sandstone 
and shale intersected by a large dyke of quartz-andesite running 
north and south. The vein occurs on the east side of the dyke 
and sends small veinlets into it. The thickness of the vein is in 
places not less than 20 feet. 

A little to the south of the two principal mines the Botanko 
mine lies in similar rocks. In 1906, 1,000 tons per month were 
being treated for 1,100 ounces bullion, 900 fine, but the output was 
shortly to be increased. The following table shows the yields 
of the respective Formosan mines from 1903 to 1905 inclusive : 

Fujita (Kyu-fun). 



















a " Outlines of Geology of Japan," Tokyo, 1902, p. 129. 

6 Crowe, Consular Reports, Foreign Office, May, 1906, Xo. 649. 
















The total yield of Formosa from 1897 to 1907 inclusive is : 




Total Ounces. 




Total Ounces. 




























* Value about 75s. per ounce. 


Tongking. Gold is very sparsely distributed in Tongking, 
and its recovery is practised only on the smallest of scales. The 
gold occurrences are mainly placer. They are situated at Cam-Lan 
(Sontai province), Miat-Son (Lao-kay province), at various spots 
in the Tuyen-Kwang province, and at Mai-duc (Phuong-Lam 
province). The last alone calls for further mention. It lies some 
distance south of Hanoi, on the southern border of the alluvial 
delta of the Red river. It is in a region of low hills composed of 
slates and schists, through which small gold-quartz veins run. 
These last occasionally assay as high as 26 dwts. gold per ton. 
Their degradation has furnished alluvial deposits containing very 
fine gold, which were long worked by the Chinese. Since the 
occupation of the country by the French the placers have been 

Annam. As in Tongking, the auriferous occurrences of 
Annam are of little present importance, and may, with two excep- 
tions, be dismissed with the mere indication of their respective 
localities. They occur at Tuong-Dong (Hatinh province) ; to the 
south of Turan (Kwang-Nam province) ; in the Mai-Leng region 
(Kwang-Tri province) ; and at Kim-Son (Binh-Dinh province). 

a Pelatan, " Les Rickesses Minerales des Colonies francaises," Paris, 1902, p. 238. 

286 ASIA. 

Of these, the Kwang-Nam occurrences are alone of importance. 
Gold is found both in veins and in alluvial gravels. 

The actual localities at which gold is or has been worked are 
Vinh-Ninh, Than-Hoa, Vinh-Muy, Tai-Yen, and Bong-Miu. At 
the last-mentioned mines the ancient workings are very extensive, 
stretching on some of the veins for a mile in length. These mines 
were taken up by a French company (La Societe des Mines d'Or de 
Bong-Miu) in 1896. Their mills in 1902 were treating from 50 to 60 
tons quartz per day. The residues were being cyanided. The 
country is a micaceous schist in which several bands have been 
mineralised (with pyrite and galena) to breadths of 1 to 6 feet. 
The bands are locally lenticular. The gold occurs either free or 
contained in pyrite and galena. Chalcopyrite is occasionally present. 
The average tenor of the ore is said to be 9 dwts. per metric ton, 
while the total costs are given at 12s. per ton. Silver to the extent 
of 3 to 16 ounces per metric ton is also present. In 1902 no less 
than 745,000 tons ore were said to be in sight." 

A second auriferous region in Annam is that which lies in 
the upper basin of the Se-San, an eastern tributary of the Me- 
Khong, and falling into it at Stung-Treng. Here are numerous 
alluvial deposits that have for centuries been exploited by the 
Laos. The alluvial pay-streaks are rarely more than a yard in 
thickness. They are occasionally very rich, and some have a local 
value of 2 to 2 \ dwts. per cubic yard. The general tenor, however, 
appears to be from 3 to 15 grains per cubic yard. As a rule, the 
gold is fine, but nuggets have been reported. One, indeed, is said 
to have weighed 65 ounces. Native washing is carried on in bateas, 
the gravel being extracted from the pay-streak by numerous pits 
placed close together. Quartz-mining in the old schists of this 
district is conducted by a French company at Ruhleville on 
pyritous gold-quartz veins carrying also galena. 

The gold yield of French Indo-China is small ; during 1906 
only 1,412 ounces (44 kg.), worth 5,960, were produced. 


The mountain ranges that separate the valleys of the Me-nam 
and the Nam-mun tributary of the Me-Khong contain the few 
known gold occurrences of Siam. The principal mines are those 
of Sara-buri, Bu-Khanun, Kabin, Srakeo, Watana, Chentabun, 
and, further to the east, Sesupon. All are therefore grouped about 

a Pelatan, loc. cit. sup. ; Saugy, Bull Soc. de Geol. Comm. de Paris, XXII, 1900, 
p. 626 ; Id., Bull. Com. de l'Asie francaise, X, 1902, p. 346. 

SIAM. 287 

the 102nd meridian of longitude, and to the east and south-east 
of Bangkok. 

The Bu-Khanun mines, south-east of Korat, are in alluvial 
gravels that rest on sericite-schists. Srakeo, midway between Korat 
and Chentabun, contains veinlets in granite that have so far yielded 
most disappointing results to the French company working them. 
The Watana mines are also worked by a French company. They 
were first opened as placer mines, but in 1894 an exceedingly rich 
pocket was found in a quartz-vein in the eruptive porphyries that 
traverse the crystalline schists of these mountains. Since that time 
further rich pockets have been encountered, but, taken as a whole, 
the deposits offer little encouragement to systematic exploitation. 
The veins of Chentabun are also in decomposed eruptive rocks. 
They have been worked by the Siamese, and even of late years 
have yielded rich gold-quartz. They are now abandoned. Similar 
veins occur at Sesupon, which is situated on a river flowing into 
the great Tonle Sap lake. The Kabin mine, midway between 
Pactum and Watana, formerly produced more than 2,000 ounces 
gold per annum. 

The climate of the Siamese gold districts is one of the most 
deadly and most malarious in the world, and even a short sojourn 
often proves fatal to native and to European alike. This fact, of 
course, militates greatly against the development of the mines. 


In this portion of the Malay Peninsula a belt of auriferous coun- 
try extends northwards from Mount Ophir into Kelantan. Along 
the belt all the peninsular goldfields occur, but in sparse and irregular 
distribution. The country of the goldfields is essentially the Raub 
series of shales and limestones, which appear to correspond very 
closely with the Upper Productus beds of- the Salt Range in India," 
and are therefore of Permo-Carboniferous age. They may, however, 
on examination be found to be more closely allied to similar beds 
in the Shan States of Burma.** Interbedded with the limestones 
and shales of the Raub series are tuffs and ash-beds, which are often 
highly sheared. With these latter may possibly be connected basic 
dykes that are found cutting through the granite. The dykes are 
both diabasic and doleritic. The igneous members of the Raub 
series are sometimes metamorphosed into hornblendic and augitic 
schists. Garnetiferous phyllites are also found. 

a Scrivenor, Progress Rep. Geol. Surv. Fed. Malay States, 1907, p. 25. 
b Middlemiss/'Ann. Rep. Geol. Surv. India, 1900, p. 138. 

288 asia. 

Kelantan. The semi-independent State of Kelantan, ruled 
by a Mussulman sultan, lies in the Malay Peninsula, in the extreme 
south of Siam. It is now to be considered, together with the 
adjacent Trengganu State, as a portion of the Federated Malay 
States, the transfer from Siam having been effected in 1908. Its 
auriferous districts, indeed, lie on the northern slopes of those 
mountains from which the Plus and the Kintra rivers flow to Perak. 
The best known of the gold mines are situated at Kundor (Long. 101 
55' E. ; Lat. 4 54/ N.) on the left bank of the Galas river, a short 
distance from Pulai, and within a few miles of the Pahang border. 
These mines have been worked for generations by the Chinese and 
Malays, who, however, devote the whole of their energies to the 
placer deposits of the neighbourhood/* Successful dredging on 
the Kelantan river has been carried on since 1904 by the Duff 
Development Syndicate. The attempts of this company to discover 
gold-quartz veins of economic value have so far met with failure. 
During 1904-5 this company produced 4,931 ($42,264), and in 
the following year 8,900 ($76,290) gold, all derived from the 
dredges. In 1906-7 the dredging companies obtained 6,461 ounces 
gold. 6 

Perak. In Upper Perak, Batang Padang, and Kuala Kangsar, 
gold is found in limited quantities with the tin " wash." Near 
Tapah, in Batang Padang, a gold-quartz vein, Bukit Mas, has 
been worked in phyllite. In 1897 it produced 1,100 ounces gold 
from 5,250 tons ore. It has since been abandoned. Perak, in 
1905, produced 1,799 ounces (fine) worth 7,196, and in 1906, 
1,057 ounces (fine) worth 4,228. 

Negri Sembilan. Gold is found along the eastern portion of 
this State from the borders of Malacca, in the Tampin district, 
to the boundary of Pahang, in the Kuala Pilah district. Batu 
Bersawah, lying a little to the north of Mount Ophir, is the only 
gold-quartz mine now being worked in Negri Sembilan. Its returns 
are very small, being in 1906 only 434 (fine) ounces. It appears to 
be in sheared and altered diabase near its junction with the Raub 
shales. d The veinstone is quartz, and the gold occurs with pyrite 
and blende. The auriferous occurrence at Pasoh in the north of 
this State is interesting since the country is a sheared granophyre. 
There is no defined lode, and from the fact that the richest patches 
were obtained in vughs with pyrites, it would appear that the 

"Clifford, Geog. Jour., IX, 1897, p. 33. 

6 Graham, Cons. Rep., 1907. 

c Belfield, " Handbook of Fed. Malay States," London, 1907, p. 69. 

* Scrivenor, loc. cit., p. 25. 


2 S9 

free gold obtained was derived from the decomposition and removal 
of pyritous impregnations. 

Pahang. Alluvial gold in small quantities is widely distri- 
buted throughout Pahang. None of these placer occurrences 
appear to be worthy of the attention of the European miner. At 
the present time gold-quartz veins are worked in this State only by 
the Raub-Australian Gold Mining Company, which controls the 
three mines, Bukit Koman, Bukit Malacca, and Stope. The rocks 
of these mines are the shales of the Raub series, here almost vertical. 
With the shales, which are often calcareous, are associated calcareous 
crush-conglomerates. There are no well-defined veins, but the ore 
is obtained from irregular lenticular bedded veins and stringers, 
the value being highest where there is a considerable admixture 
of pyritous country. At Bukit Koman, when the quartz is massive 
and in bulk, its average value may be 2| to 3 dwts. When, however, 
the ore-body becomes a mass of quartz veinlets and stringers its 
value rises to 12 to 20 dwts. per ton. At the Stope mine scheelite 
occurs with the gold quartz. The Raub mines and mills are worked 
by electricity generated at the Senjam river. The latest available 
returns from these mines are : 


Tons Ore. 

Ounces Gold. 




or an average return of 2-75 dwts. per ton ore. 

Gold-quartz veins have from time to time been worked in other 
parts of the State, at Silensing, Tui, Punjom, and Kechau. At Tui 
the veins occur with calcite in a light-grey limestone ; at Punjom 
in a nondescript rock resembling a greisen ; a and at Kechau, 40 
miles north of Raub, the hanging -wall was hard black limestone, 
while the footwall was a sheared ash-bed, probably of the Pahang 
Volcanic Series. Between these clearly-marked walls were scattered 
masses of low-grade ore. A crushing of 1,380 tons from Kechau 
yielded 581-503 ounces, equivalent to 8'42 dwts. per ton. 

The output of gold from Pahang from 1890 to 1906 inclusive 
was 241,358 ounces, of an approximate value of 965,000. From 
the four States comprising the Federated Malay States there were 
produced during 1905 and 1906 : 







a Scrivenor, Pahang Gov. Gazette, July, 1904, p. 5. 




Gold-mining is a very ancient industry in the Philippines, 
and gold has long been exported from thence to China and Further 
India. The export naturally attracted the attention of both the 
Spaniards and the Portuguese, who hoped to find there a second 
Inca hoard, and many were the futile endeavours made by them to 
discover the supposed rich deposits. As far back as 1572 the well- 
known mines of Paracale and Mambulao in Camarines Norte were 
examined by Latin adventurers. It follows, therefore, that the 
more accessible alluvial and vein gold-deposits are now exhausted, 
leaving only those which, from difficulty of access or of working, 
were beyond the reach of the native miners, who, as in the case 
of the northern Igorrotes, indeed displayed no mean skill in vein- 

In the island of Luzon are two main auriferous districts. The 
northern field lies in the neighbourhood of Mount Data and in the 
country of the Igorrotes in the provinces of Abra, Bontoc, Lepanto, 
and Benguet. The region is one of crystalline schists and old massive 
rocks. The placers of Nueva Ecija lie north of Manila and east of 
the Rio Grande de Pampanga. They have long been worked by the 
natives, but were only recently known to Europeans. The aurif- 
erous gravels lie on sedimentary rocks, but hornblende-andesite and 
gneiss are known in the neighbourhood. The pay-gravel contains 
large pebbles and masses of chalcedony and jasper. The gold is very 
pure, but is small and flaky. The presence of clay and the lack 
of a regular water-supply tend to hinder the exploitation of these 
placers. Platinum, and possibly iridium, are associated with the 
gold/' The southern field is in the province of Camarines Norte, to 
the east of Manila. Here also the region is gneissic and schistose. 
The gold-quartz veins carry, in addition to gold, pyrite, chalcopyrite, 
galena, and sphalerite, with occasionally a little lead chromate 
(crocoisite). At Dagupan, south-west of Mambulao, are numerous 
gold-quartz stringers in black clay-slates, the whole being strongly 
reminiscent of the Southern Appalachian quartz veins in saprolite/' 

a Goodman, Min. Jour., Oct. 26, 1907. 

b Becker, 20th Ann. Rep. U.S. Geol. Surv., 1S99-1900, Pt. Ill, p. 576. 


At Paracale, die rock appears to be granitic, and the veins are 
sometimes 20 feet in width. From 1893 the "Philippines Mineral 
Syndicate " worked the historic Mambulao mines, but apparently 
with little success. Numerous placer mines, and also beach sands, 
are worked in the Camarines Norte province, but their production 
is diminishing from decade to decade, and they present no features 
of special interest. Gold dredges were operating in 1907 on the 
placer deposits of Paracale. 

On Masbate Island both quartz veins and placer deposits are 
being worked. At Arroroy, a 10-stamp mill was erected to crush 
gold quartz. Two gold dredges are also in operation, one on the 
Lanang river and the other on the Guinibattan river. Both are 
working regularly/ 1 

In the province of Capiz, Panay Island, several alluvial deposits 
are worked. The best of these appears to be at Astorga, Dumarao 
{Lat. 11 16' N.). Others are near San Enrique and Barotoc Vie jo 
in the province of Ilo-ilo. In the island of Cebu are abandoned 
mines, in which pyritous veinlets in diorite had been worked. Gold 
occurs at Pambujan, in the island of Samar. Pyritous gold-quartz 
veins are also known at Pihutan in the small island of Panaon, 
lying between Leyte and Mindanao. The wall rock is " greenstone- 
porphyry." One vein of a tenor of 25s. to 30s. per ton, 6 feet wide, 
and carrying pyrite, galena, and zinc-blende, had been worked 
to a considerable extent. 

Like Luzon, Mindanao possesses two distinct auriferous regions, 
one immediately south of the Bay of Macajalar, in the province of 
Misamis (Lat. 8 20' N. ; Long. 120 40' E.), the other including 
the east-coast range of the province of Surigao. The Misamis 
deposits include veins, placers, and river sands. The veins are 
mainly in the Pigholugan region, where the two principal mines are 
the Abaca-an and the Pigholugan. Both are working in a soft 
grey argillaceous slate, where numerous narrow quartz-stringers, 
rarely more than an inch wide, form stockworks. The gold occurs 
in " pockets," mainly at the intersections of these veinlets, and 
the method of working is governed entirely by the manner of 
occurrence. ^ The river sands of the region are little worked, and 
the bulk of the gold comes from old high-level river gravels, of which 
the more important are those of the Iponan, Rio Cagayan, Bigaan, 
and Cutman (Kugman), all rivers flowing into the Bay of Macajalar. 
The pay-streak in the gravels runs from 18 inches to 10 feet in 
thickness, and appears to average about 5 feet. According to 
Abella, the pay-streak contains as much as 27 grains fine gold per 

a Eng. Min. Jour., July 21, 1906, p. 102. 

6 Nichols, Trans. Inst. Amer. M.E., XXXI, 1901, p. 612. 


cubic yard," yet those engaged in washing earn only from 6d. to 
Is. per day. Nichols'' estimates the value of the dredging area of 
the Iponan, below the Pigtao, as worth from 7 id. to 12|d. (15 to 
25 cents) per cubic yard. 

In the Surigao province the eastern mountains are reported 
to be auriferous from their northern extremity as far south as 
Carga (7 12' N.). The northern portion appears to be the richer, 
especially in the neighbourhood of Surigao, Placer, Mainit, and Taga- 
nan. The gold-quartz veins of this area are pyritous (pyrite, 
chalcopyrite, galena, and blende), and lie in a metamorphic slate. 
They are small and pockety, resembling greatly those of Pigholugan 
described above. Beside the foregoing there are numerous auriferous 
occurrences, both in veins and in gravels, but none appear at the 
present time to be of economic value or of scientific interest. 

Gold has recently been found about 25 miles north of Zam- 
boanga, at the westernmost extremity of Mindanao. It occurs in 
a yellow clay arising from the decomposition of a schist, the original 
locus of the gold being quartz-stringers in the schist . c 


British North Borneo. Gold has been known since 1883 
in the gravels of the Segamah river on the east coast of North Borneo. 
Silam, in Darvel Bay, is the nearest port to the locality. Exploration 
in the neighbourhood has hitherto failed to prove the existence 
of gold in payable quantities. Beach gold is also reported from 
Marudu Bay. 

Sarawak. The gold deposits of economic importance in this 
State lie to the south-west of Kuching, the capital. They were 
worked both for alluvial gold and for lode gold by the Chinese. 
The placer gravels are now more or less exhausted. It was from 
Krian, near Bau, that the largest nugget found in the Borneo drifts 
was obtained. Its weight was 7 ounces (218 grammes). d 

Gold is won from the matrix at Bau, Bidi, and Jambusan, 
about 15 miles south-west of Kuching. The Bau mines were 
primarily worked for antimony. The general geology of the country 
is simple. A conformable series of stratified rocks lies approximately 
horizontal. The basement rock is a Middle Oolite limestone, which 
is overlain by thin marl beds, often very local in development. 
The marl, where it occurs, is overlain b}~ a series of shales, sandstones, 
grits, and conglomerates. The whole series is greatly broken by 

a Becker, loc. cit., p. 581. 

h Loc. cit., p. 616. 

' Min. Sci. Press, Jan. 1, 1908. 

d Posewitz, " Borneo," Trans. F. H. Hatch, London, 1902, p. 318. 


block-faulting, and is extensively intruded by quartz-porphyry 
dykes. a The igneous rocks also occur as sills and as nondescript 
masses or stocks varying in character, according to Scrivenor, b 
from a hypersthene-gabbro to a quartz-diorite. All are probably 
segregations from an andesitic magma. 

The main gold-bearing belt of Upper Sarawak may be said to 
extend from south-west to north-east through Bau and Bidi. The 
ore occurs : (a) As irregular masses in limestone, and (b) as impreg- 
nations or disseminations in shale. The former are as a rule richer 
and more pyritous than the latter. At Bau the workings are all 
open-cast, and are scattered over a wide area of low-lying land. 
The ore is a dark breccia of shale, sandstone, and limestone cemented 
and often largely replaced by silica. The minerals associated with 
the gold are strikingly characteristic of andesitic influence. They 
are mispickel, galena, proustite, cinnabar, native arsenic, realgar, 
native antimony, stibnite, senarmontite, valentinite, jamesonite, 
and bindheimite (lead antimoniate). The gold (as at Coromandel, 
New Zealand) is often associated with native arsenic, while the 
stibnite contains little or no gold. The pyritic ore from Su San 
Shien, Bau, yielded on analysis (Geikie) : 







At this mine it has been noted that where intrusive sills occupy 
a horizontal position in the shales, mineralisation is wholly confined 
to the underlying beds of shale. While the shales overlying the 
limestone are often auriferous, the marls that have already been 
mentioned as having a local development are always barren. The 
gold comes from the pyrites in the shales, no free gold being seen, 
even in panning rich ore. Silicified shales furnish the great bulk 
of the ore milled. In these, the impregnation, as might be expected, 
is extremelv irregular in value. Average analvses of silicified ore 
gave the following : 




20 32 







Oxygen and Loss 




... * 





... . 



14 84 

Iron ... 




2 05 




5 60 

Carbon di- 






S dwts. to 35 dwts. per ton. 


20 ,. 40 


a Geikie, Trans. Inst. Min. Met., XV, 1905, p. 63. 

b "Geology of Sarawak," Sarawak Gazette, 1905, p. 102. 


At Taiton the ore occurs in fissures in the limestone, but mud, 
clay, and soil have also been worked. There would appear to be 
often a secondary enrichment near the surface, probably effected 
in this case by the removal of matrix and base matter. 

At Jambusan, 2 miles east of Bau, the ore occurs as irregular 
masses or pockets in the limestone. The ore-bodies have no well- 
defined limits, and their exploitation is guided entirely by the 
tenor of the rock. The ore is a hard, black, cherty rock, containing 
87 per cent, silica and 11 per cent, stibnite. The gold is coarse 
and free, varying in amount from 5 dwts. to 20 ounces per ton of 
ore. Numerous dykes and intrusive sheets occur in this neighbour- 
hood, and it is evident that the mineralisation throughout this 
field is closely dependent on these igneous rocks. Near Bau, a 
quartz-porphyry dyke yields from U to 2 dwts. per ton, and there 
are several similar dykes in the neighbourhood whose gold content 
appears to be associated with wad and manganiferous clay. 

At Tai Parrit, about 100 acres are silicified and mineralised, 
carrying small quantities of gold throughout. Shales, lime- 
stones, and marls are confusedly thrown together, and the whole 
is intruded by numerous dykes. In some cases brecciation is due 
to removal of the underlying limestone, in others, it is apparently 
due to faulting. As a rule, the deposits are small, scattered, and 
shallow, but at Jambusan one deposit has been proved to a depth 
of 120 feet. 

Since mining is open-cast the costs are low. Mining and 
transport amounted in 1905 to 2s. 6d. per ton, while the total costs 
were 10s. 4d. per ton. From November, 1898, to July 31st, 1904, 
no less than 448,319 tons ore had been treated at Bau for a yield 
of 87,182 ounces fine gold, equal to a return of 3-88 dwts. per ton. 
In 1905, two mills, at Bau and Bidi, were in operation, the former 
treating 10,000 and the latter 8,000 tons per month. The output 
of fine gold in 1905 was 44,299 ounces, 39,180 ounces in 1906, and 
41,751 ounces in 1907. 


Dutch Borneo. Gold has for centuries been worked in 
Borneo by the Chinese, who operated, generally with great success, 
in small working syndicates. In the early part of the nineteenth 
century the Chinese industry was in a highly-flourishing condition, 
and Chinese miners were possessed of considerable political influence, 
the exercise of which eventually brought them into conflict with 

a Scrutton, Trans. Inst. Mm. Met., XV, 1905, p. 144. 


the Dutch authorities, and engendered a long war that ended only 
in 1854 with the complete subjugation of the Chinese. During 
the struggle the gold-mining industry suffered severely, and has 
never indeed regained its former position. In Dutch Borneo, gold 
occurs both in the parent rock and in the gravels of the streams, 
nearly all of the latter containing a little gold. Three main 
auriferous districts may be made out : a western, including the 
so-called " Chinese districts " in the neighbourhood of the Sambas 
and Landak rivers ; a central district covering the country at the 
heads of the Kahajan and the Kapuas rivers ; and a south-eastern 
district including the Tanah-Laut and the Kusan countries. The 
line of auriferous country in Borneo would therefore appear to strike 
from Western Sarawak south-east across Central Borneo to Tanah- 
Laut, a line coinciding very closely with the distribution of the 
Tertiary eruptive rocks, as shown on Posewitz's geological map. a 
No gold-quartz veins of importance have yet been found in 
Dutch Borneo, though many have from time to time been worked 
by the Chinese. The western district contains the majority of 
those known. There, Von Schelle found numerous vein-like impreg- 
nations in the phyllites, slates, and sandstones of the "Old Slate" 
(Devonian ?) formation, or in the older igneous rocks (granite and 
porphyrite). The latter, as well as the former, are often highly 
metamorphosed. The more noteworthy of these occurrences of 
the western district are in the Skadau mountains ; b in the Udu 
mountains, further to the south-east near Melassam ; near Sjui- 
Tsiet on the northern slopes of the Pandan mountains ; near 
Mandor in the Han-ui-san and Snaman mountains ; and near 
Sikarim. Both the older sedimentary rocks and the intrusive 
granites and diorites are traversed by younger apparently Tertiary 
dykes of andesitic facies. The occurrence of gold is more or less 
restricted to the igneous rocks, to their contacts, or to the slates 
near the point of contact. The period of auriferous deposition 
generally would seem to be post-Eocene and to have been dependent 
on the early Tertiary eruptions. A vein near Budok is especially 
interesting, in that it contains sylvanite (telluride of gold and silver), 
the only occurrence of this mineral yet reported from Borneo. The 
usual associates of the gold are pyrite, chalcopyrite, and galena. 
The alluvial deposits of the western district have derived their gold 
directly from the denudation of veins and veinlets similar to those 
above described. The deposits in the lowest portion of the beds of 
the present rivers have not yielded much to the native worker 

a "Borneo," Theodor Posewitz, Trans. F. H. Hatch, London, 1902, p. 312 et seq. 

b Loc. cit., p. 334. 

c Truscott, Trans. Inst. Min. Met., X, 1902, p. 58. 


owing to the great quantities of water encountered. They may be 
found to be well adapted for dredging. Native alluvial workings 
have been mainly carried on in the older drifts where the gold has 
been found associated with diamonds, platinum, and cinnabar. 
These older drifts are probably Quaternary. The soil of the hill- 
slopes also furnishes gold that, in this case, is liberated from the 
matrix by the decomposition of the rock in situ. Such 
deposits are of course poorer than those on which the concen- 
trating power of running water has had some play. Native washing 
is effected with rude ground sluices and bateas. Chinese washing 
is much more advanced, water-wheels and chains being used, and 
long water-races dug to bring in water to command the gravels. 

The central auriferous district lies, as has been stated, towards 
the head- waters of the Kahajang and the Kapuas. The Kahajang 
mine is the most noteworthy. It is at the contact of a quartz- 
porphyrite with the " Old Slate " formation, both having been 
fractured and impregnated with silica and auriferous pyrites." The 
quartz of the porphyrite is blue or purple, and, with the felspar, often 
assumes a peculiar lenticular shape, the result apparently of pressure. 
The main Kahajang veins are about 212 feet apart, with several 
small veinlets in the intervening country. The quartz assays 
about an ounce gold and 12 dwts. silver per ton. A small trial 
crushing of 139 tons gave 260 ounces bullion, 780 fine. Other quartz- 
veins in the neighbourhood are in quartz-porphyrite or felsite 
dykes, and from the degradation of these the alluvial gold appears 
to have been derived. As in the western district there is a great 
development of Tertiary andesites, dacites, rhyolites, and basalts. 
These are especially well developed in the Miiller mountains, where 
they appear to be disposed along a line of fractured Auriferous 
impregnation here also is apparently dependent on the volcanic 
rocks. The alluvial deposits of the Kahajang Valley appeared to 
Truscott to afford scope for dredging. 

In the south-eastern district no quartz veins have been located, 
but the alluvial gold, especially near Amuntai, appears to have been 
derived from an altered andesite. On the whole, the Tanah-Laut 
district in the extreme south-east of Borneo has furnished the 
richest alluvial deposits. 

The gold yield of Dutch Borneo is insignificant, being only 
1,990 ounces (62 kg.) in 1905, and 1,059 ounces (33 kg.) in 1906. 

Celebes. Gold-mining on the island of Celebes is at present 
confined to the narrow east and west peninsula in the northern 

a Truscott, loc. cit. sup. 

" Molengraaff, " Geological Explorations in Central Borneo," London, 1902. 


extremity of the island. Here natives and Chinese have long 
carried on the industry in the usual crude eastern fashion. As in 
Sumatra and Borneo, auriferous deposition appears to be closely 
connected with rocks of andesitic facies. The most westerly field 
on the north coast is that of Palehleh. These mines were taken 
up by Europeans in 1892, and eventually passed to the Nederland- 
Indische Gold-mining Company. The main ore-body consists of 
veins and stringers of auriferous sulphides in augite-porphyrite 
breccia." Not far to the west are older slates intruded by por- 
phyrite dykes. The slates are the Dolakapa series of MolengraafiV' 
The porphyrite dykes are pyritous, and are occasionally auriferous 
to the extent of 1 to 1J dwts. per ton. The ore-body carries 
three or four parallel sulphide veins separated by country 
through which smaller stringers ramify. The width mined 
varies from 1 to 20 feet and will probably average about 
6 feet. c The sulphides of the ore-body are pyrite, galena, 
sphalerite, and chalcopyrite, with small quantities of antimony 
and arsenic, the two last appearing only in chemical analyses. 
The country itself is also thoroughly impregnated with pyrites, 
and is, within the lode limits, auriferous to the extent of 2 dwts. per 
ton. The sulphides themselves carry : 


4J ounces per ton 




8 - 5 per cent. 





The value of the ore, owing to the large admixture of country, 
is generally however about -J ounce gold per ton associated with 
8-5 per cent, sulphides. The gold is, on the whole, coarse, and lies 
upon, rather than in, the pyrites crystals, from which the bulk of it 
may be separated by grinding and washing. A proportion seems to 
be more closely associated, since the pyrites thus washed away 
possesses a constant value of an ounce per ton. The Palehleh ore- 
bodies appear to be disposed at intervals along a fracture plane, 
the length of ore-bearing shoots being more or less equal to that of 
the intervening barren rock. A similar occurrence to that of 
Palehleh lies to the south near Pagoeat. 

Forty miles west of Palehleh, at Soemalatta, also on the north 
coast, lies a similar occurrence. Here the ore-body, rich in the 
andesite, decreases appreciably in value as it passes into the adjacent 
Dolakapa slates. The eruptive rocks enclosing the ore-bodies 

a Bucking, " Beitrage zur Geologie von Celebes," Petermann. Geog. Mittheil., 
XLV, 1899, p. 276. 

6 Zeit. fur prakt. Geol., 1902, p. 250. 

c Truscott, loc. cit. sup., p. 64. 


are diabase- and augite-porphyrite breccia, termed by Molen- 
graaff the " Wubudu eruptive breccias."" Three main-reef systems 
occur at Soemalatta : the North Reef, South Reef, and the Veta 
Nueva. Ten miles to the west, beyond Soemalatta, is a vein in 
the eruptive andesitic breccia of Denuki Bay. The lode-matter is 
a brecciated rock with a siliceous cement, highly pyritous, but 
of low value. 

On the opposite coast and east of Soemalatta is Totok, perhaps 
the most interesting of North Celebes auriferous deposits. Here 
the gold occurs in quartz blocks embedded in a tough clay contained 
in a limestone resting on porphyrite (altered andesite). The igneous 
rock is possibly an intrusive sill, while the clay represents the 
decomposition product of brecciated andesitic dykes that have 
passed upward through the limestone. Decomposition has been 
largely accompanied by silicification. The gold is found as specks 
or leaves between the larger quartz crystals, or as moss- or wire- 
gold on the smaller crystals. Quartz veinlets ramifying into the 
limestone are small, but are often very rich. There is a complete 
absence of sulphides, and these veins therefore are in marked 
contrast to other North Celebes occurrences. From the geological 
evidence afforded at Totok the general period of andesitic eruption 
and of auriferous impregnation is almost certainly Tertiary. 

Six miles south-west of Totok is the Kotaboenan field, where 
the gold occurs associated with veinlets and impregnations of quartz 
and sulphides in decomposed andesite. 6 Except for the greater 
abundance of quartz at Kotaboenan, the geological conditions 
resemble those of Palehleh. Minor occurrences are found at Pinogo 
and Gorontalo further to the south-Avest.'' 

In 1906 the Celebes goldfields produced 25,038 ounces (780 kg.) 
fine gold, Totok yielding 11,716 ounces (365 kg.), Palehleh 9,598 
ounces (299 kg.), and Soemalatta 3,724 ounces (116 kg.). 

Sumatra. From the remotest times Sumatra has been famed 
for its gold. Even in the Ramayana, one of the two great Sanskrit 
epics of the Hindus, Yawadwipa (Sumatra), " adorned by seven 
kingdoms, the gold and silver region rich in gold mines" is mentioned. 
Yet, at the present day, only one goldfield is certainly known to 
merit the application of modern methods. This is the Radjang- 
Lebong field, 100 miles from Bengkoelen on the south-west coast. 
Ancient workings were discovered in 1896, and work has since 
been profitably continued. The Radjang-Lebong lode consists of 

a Loc. cit., p. 27G. 

" Truscott, loc. cit. sup. 

c For detailed information concerning the gold deposits of the Dutch East Indies, 
r. Jaarbock van het Mijnwezen in Xederlandsch Oost-Indie, Batavia, 1895-K06. 



five Avell-defined seams separated by highly-silicificd altered 
andesite. A blue quartz vein, 2 feet wide, on the footwall carries 
1 to 2\ ounces gold. Then a band of silicified andesite 18 to 25 feet 
wide, assays 6 dwts. throughout, and above the broad band of 
country come the minor seams. a The average width of the ore-body 
for a distance of 1,000 feet has been stated at 17 feet. 6 In 1908 
the ore reserves were said to be 265,000 tons of an average assay 
value of 21 dwts. gold per ton. The gold is finely disseminated 
throughout the mass and can rarely be seen on panning. The 
common sulphides are pyrite and chalcopyrite. Pyrolusite, wad, 
and chalcopyrite also occur. The bullion contains (as at Waihi, 
New Zealand) a notable proportion of selenium, an analysis 
giving : 



Gold and Silver 

. 9152 







1 65 


No tellurium has as yet been detected either in the bullion or in the 
ore. The ratio of silver to gold in the bullion is often 10 : 1. 

At Lebong Soelit, 5 miles west of Redjang Lebong, is a very 
similar occurrence. Four outcrops, suggesting separate parts of a 
faulted vein, have been worked by the natives. The total length 
of outcrop thus indicated is 2,000 feet, over which the reef has 
an average width of 8 feet and a value of 20 dwts. c Assays of the 
enclosing andesitic country have yielded a little silver but no gold. 

A third gold-bearing ore-body lies 7 miles west of Lebong Soelit. 
The three occurrences, Redjang Lebong, Lebong Soelit, and the 
third unnamed, lie along an east-west line 12 miles long. 

The following shows the output of the Redjang-Lebong mines 
during the years 1906 and 1907 : d 



Tons Crushed. 





In 1907 a dividend of 71 per cent, on a capital of 208,333 
(florins 2,500,000) was paid. 

The Ketahoen mines are also in the Lebong district in the 
south-west of Sumatra, and about 80 miles north of Bengkoelen. 

a Ivey, Trans. Inst. Min. Met, XII, 1903, p. 340. 

b Truscott, ib., X, 1902, p. 53. 

c Truscott, loc. cit., p. 55. 

d Min. Jour., Feb. 29, 1908, p. 250. 


Like the Redjang-Lebong they have proved extremely profitable. 
During 1906 and 1907 they yielded gold and silver to the value of 
64,710 (florins 783,000), and 83,718 (florins 1,013,000) respectively. 

A minor auriferous area is the Oembilien goldfield in the 
neighbourhood of Fort de Kock and Soepajang, in the middle of 
Sumatra. The country here is also andesitic, but the quartz- 
veins yet found have been of very low grade. In the old 
schists of Moera Supongi (Tapanoeli), Western Sumatra, 
Hundeshagen" found gold in a grossularite garnet deposit 
with wollastonite. Black augite-diorite occurs to the west of the 
deposit, which was not improbably originally a limestone band 
in the schists, was subsequently metamorphosed to garnet and 
wollastonite and mineralised by solutions carrying gold, copper, 
and platinum. Selected samples of bornite assayed from | ounce 
to 75 ounces gold per ton. 


British New Guinea. The great mountain chain of New Guinea 
is formed by Archsean crystalline schists and metamorphic rocks, 
and is continued from the mainland south-east through the islands 
of the D'Entrecasteaux and of the Louisiade groups. An immense 
area, extending from near Port Moresby to the German frontier 
(Lat. 8 S.), is occupied by these rocks. Another similar area occurs 
further east near Mount Suckling (11,226 feet), and the intervening 
Owen Stanley range may be conjectured to be also of Archaean 
schists. 6 It is these ancient rocks that furnish the gold of New 
Guinea either in veins in situ, or detrital in the river valleys. Quartz 
veins have not been worked on the mainland, except at Gibara, 
near Milne Bay. The Gibara veins were small and were soon aban- 
doned. More or less successful vein-mining has, however, been, 
carried on since 1900 on Woodlark Island (Murua), 180 miles north- 
east of Samarai, which is now the principal port of New Guinea. 
Woodlark is an upraised island with coral reefs elevated 1 50 feet above 
sea-level. The gold-bearing formation at Kulamadau, the principal 
centre, is merely an impregnated band in the country, 14 feet wide, 
and defined by clay walls. c Both clay and lode-formation carry 
about 2 per cent, pyrites. Irregular pockets or bunches of calcite 
occur throughout the formation, and contain veinlets of galena 

" Trans. Inst. Min. Met., XIII, 1904, p. 551. 

1 Maitland, West Aust. Nat. Hist, Soc., 1905, p. 23. 

c Pinder, Trans. Inst, Min. Met,, X, 1902, p. 87. 



that are invariably rich in gold. The principal company operating 
on Woodlark Island had in 1906 reached a depth of 435 feet. The 
return from the veins of the island for that year was 10,527 ounces, 
valued at 33,549. The average yield of the quartz crushed was 
17 dwts. 21 grains gold per ton ore." Other mining centres on 
the island are at Karavkum and Busai. At the latter place alluvial 
washing has been carried on in deposits containing fossil bones. 
The yield of alluvial gold from Woodlark Island for 1906 was 1,608 
ounces. Mining operations on Sudest (Tagula) and St. Aignan 
(Misima), islands of the Louisiade group, are confined to gravels. 

On the mainland of British New Guinea all the active goldfields, 
Milne Bay, Keveri, Yodda, and Gira, are placer fields. The Milne 
Bay field is in the extreme south-east of the mainland, while the 
Yodda and Gira fields, the most important, are on the Kumusi, 
Mambare, and Gira rivers, in the north-east portion of British 
territory. In the early years of prospecting in New Guinea, from 
1889 to 1898, very rich pockets were discovered on these rivers. 
The Mambare is believed to be adapted in places for dredging, but 
no attempt has as yet been made in that direction. The prospector 
in New Guinea has many difficulties with which to contend. The 
climate is extremely malarious, provisions are extraordinarily dear, 
while the jungle is dense and the natives are dangerous. Hence 
New Guinea has never experienced the " rush " that its earlier- 
worked rich deposits would have engendered elsewhere. The 
estimated yield of the mainland goldfields for 1906 was 12,000 to 
13,000 ounces gold, the Yodda and Gira fields each producing 
about 6,000 ounces. 

Official returns from 1888, when mining was commenced, to 
1907 inclusive, give the amount of gold exported as some 258,622 
ounces, worth 935,831. These figures by no means comprise 
the total amount produced, For example, while the estimated 
yield for 1906 was 24,227 ounces, only. 14,633 ounces were entered 
for export in that year. The returns for the last three years available 
are : b 



Value, Sterling. 





a Commonwealth Reports, 1907, British New Guinea, p. 70. 
h Murray, Aust. Min. Stand., 1907, Ap. 1, 8, pp. 331, 358. 



The total yield to 1907 of the various fields since the commence- 
ment of placer mining in New Guinea is estimated as below : 


Crude Ounces. 

Value, Sterling. 


Murua ( Woodlark Id. ) 


Milne Bay 







: 1,6 70 







German New Guinea (Kaiser Wilhelm's Land). Gold is 
found in this colony mainly in the extreme south-east, adjoining 
British territory. The Waria, Wiwo, Morope, Pajawa, and 
Majaina, in fact, all the large streams along the coast from 
the British boundary to Cape Longuerue, carry a little gold. 
The Waria and the Wiwo are the richest, but their head- waters and 
most valuable portions are in British New Guinea. Gold also occurs 
in the sands of the Ramu, the largest river in Kaiser Wilhelm's 
Land/* Veins are as yet unknown, but they probably occur in 
the " diorite ' of the higher mountains, since gold in trifling 
quantities is found scattered over the slopes of these ranges. 


Numerous occurrences of gold in small quantities have been 
reported from New Caledonia. Nearly all these are along the 
Diahot Valley in the extreme north-western portion of the island, 
but one, that at Mont d'Or, lies a short distance north of Noumea, 
the principal port.^ 

In the neighbourhood of the Diahot river are the only gold- 
quartz veins yet worked. The oldest of these is the Fernhill, near 
Manghine. This vein was discovered by Australian prospectors in 
1870, flourished for three years, and has since been spasmodically 
worked. Its output for the first three years was 4,134 2 ounces 
(128-576 kg.), and from 1876 to 1878 was 2,712-9 ounces 
(84-373 kg.), worth 11,200. The vein was very irregular in value 
and in extent, yielding as high as 5 ounces per ton. The early 
workings exhausted the oxidised zone, which persisted to a depth of 
90 feet, and which was succeeded by highly pyritous, lower-grade, ore. 

a Schmeisser, Zeit. fiir prakt. Geol. r XIV, 1906, p. 79. 

" Pelatan, " Les Richesses Minerales des Colonies francaises," Paris. 1902, p. 4. 

c Glasser, Ann. des Mines, Serie lOme, IV, 1904, p. 507. 


The Fernhill ore-bodies lie near the contact of the dark schists 
of the left bank of the Diahot with the mica-schists that are more 
or less confined to the right bank. The dark schists are somewhat 
slaty and are seamed with veinlets of milky quartz. The mica-schists 
are of an ordinary type with a white sericitic mica. The strike of 
the foliation of the schists (N. 35 E.) is that of the contact and 
of the ore-body. The last appears to consist of a zone, from 3 to 4 
feet wide, of hyaline quartz grains. Gold is also obtained from 
silicified bands in the schist, these being as a rule highly pyritous. 

Gold-quartz veins have also been worked in the mica-schists 
of the Tiari mountains, immediately to the north of the Diahot 
streams. Here are situated the Rose and the Berthe veins. The 
former was discovered in 1890, and its line of vein-country extends 
eastward continuously for some 6 or 7 miles. Along this line the 
band is more or less auriferous, possessing veins and shoots in which 
a limited quantity of quartz has yielded 1 to If ounces (30 to 50 
grammes) gold per ton. The mica-schists of this region are sericitic, 
and contain as accessory minerals, pyrite, almandine garnet, rutile, 
and abundant glaucophane. Other deposits in situ are in the dark 
schist of Pouembout, the melaphyre of Tongoue, and the ophite 
(diabase ?) of the Queyras mine near La Foa. 

Alluvial gold is nowhere abundant. The richest deposit appears 
to be near Galarino, on the coast at the foot of the northern slope of 
the Tiari range. It is an extensive deposit, but is of exceedingly 
low grade. It appears rather to be the result of surface decompo- 
sition than a true alluvial deposit. As a rule its gold is fine, 
but a nugget of 25-7 dwts. (40 grammes) has been obtained. 
The sands of the Diahot contain a little gold with occasional 
grains of platinum. Other occurrences are in the Nakety river and 
in the Grosses Gouttes circle. In the latter case the gold appears 
to be associated with granite massives. 

On the whole, the auriferous deposits of New Caledonia appear 
to offer little encouragement for the investment of capital, or 
even for further prospecting. 


Gold in water-worn quartz has from time to time been obtained 
from the upper reaches of the Rewa river, north of Suva, on the 
island of Viti Levu. Such gold may have been derived either from 
the basement Palaeozoic metamorphic schists or from the widely- 
spread intrusive Cainozoic andesites. In the latter case the occur- 
rence would resemble those of the Hauraki Peninsula of New 


Zealand. Specimens seen by the writer were thought to indicate an 
andesitic origin. No gold-quartz veins have yet been discovered on 
the island. Fiji being, however, a portion of that ancient continent 
of which New Caledonia, the Solomon Islands, and New Guinea 
are all fragments,* its basement metamorphic rocks may well be 
expected to yield similar veins. 

" Woolnough, Proc. Linn. Soc. N.S.W., XXVII, 1903, p. 457. 




Prompted, by the discoveries of rich gold in Victoria and New 
South Wales in 1851, vigorous search for similar deposits was made 
in New Zealand. In the following year, 1852, gold-dust and gold 
enclosed in quartz was found in the Kapanga Creek at Coromandel 
Harbour, about 40 miles from Auckland in the North Island. Owing, 
however, to the fact that the alluvial deposits were small and of little- 
value, and also to the increasing hostility of the natives, this field was 
abandoned after having yielded some 1,200 gold. The next gold- 
find in New Zealand took place in 1857, in the Collingwood district 
in the Nelson province of the South Island ; the next and the first 
of real importance as affecting the history of the Dominion, was 
that, in 1861, of the rich placers of Gabriel's Gully, Otago. The 
news of these finds, supplemented by extraordinary reports of the 
richness of the placer deposits of the West Coast of the South 
Island, precipitated a series of '' rushes ' from the New South 
Wales and Victorian alluvial fields, already past their zenith- 
With the advent of the Australian diggers, the valley-gravel& 
of Otago, Southland, and the then hardly accessible West Coast 
district, were thoroughly prospected, and placers of great value,, 
especially along the beaches of the Molyneux (Clutha) and 
Kawarau rivers in Otago, were discovered. No gold-quartz veins 
worthy of more than passing attention were known until the 
purchase from the Maoris in 1867 of the Thames goldfield, some 
50 miles from Auckland. Here were discovered near the surface 
some of the rich bonanzas that are characteristic of the northern 
and central portions of the Hauraki Peninsula. For the next 
20 years gold-mining in New Zealand underwent many vicissitudes, 
and it was not until 1893 that the development of the now famous 
Waihi mine and the opening up of similar large bodies of low-grade 
quartz at Waitekauri and Karangahake in the southern portion of 
the Hauraki andesitic area, combined with the steady progress 
of the dredging industry in Otago and Westland in the South 
Island, placed the industry on a sure industrial foundation. 

New Zealand therefore possesses three well-defined and well- 
separated auriferous areas : {a) the Hauraki goldfield on the 



peninsula of that name on the north-east coast of the North Island ; 
this area contains valuable vein deposits, but no placers ; (b) the 
West Coast area, lying along the western slopes of the Alps of the 
South Island in the provinces of Nelson and Westland ; in this 
area the vein and alluvial occurrences are of equal importance ; 
and (c) the Otago area, in which the auriferous alluvial placer gravels 
are of importance and the few known gold-quartz veins of little 
economic value. 

The following table shows the annual export of gold from 
New Zealand since 1857 : 






































































































































:; lo,486 


























In addition to the foregoing, silver to the value of more than a 
million sterling has been recovered, mainly from the gold-quartz 
veins of the Hauraki Peninsula,, and this sum is therefore to be 
placed to the credit of gold-mining. 

Hauraki. The Hauraki Peninsula is the most northerly 
gold-mining area in New Zealand. Its auriferous rocks extend for a 
total length of 120 miles north and south, with an average breadth 
of some 15 miles. They are continued to the north in the Great 
Barrier Island, which is geologically a continuation of the peninsula. 


The oldest rocks of the area are Palaeozoic and Lower Mesozoic 
unfossiliferous slates and sandstones. With these are associated 
more or less contemporaneous volcanic rocks that are pre-Jurassic 
in age. Apparently resting on these, and only recently distinguished 
as a result of the work of the Geological Survey of New Zealand," 
are conglomerates, grits, grauwackes, and argillites. Fragmentary 
fossils from the conglomerates have been identified as Inoceramus 
hastii and Belemnites sp., b thus indicating an Upper Jurassic 
horizon. The pre-Jurassic and Jurassic rocks are known only in 
the north and north-west of the peninsula, with the single exception 
of a minute exposure a few miles north of Thames on the south- 
west coast of the peninsula. In the northern portion of the 
peninsula is a small area of Cretaceo-Tertiary sediments, which, 
from stratigraphical evidence, appear to be older than the andesitic 
eruptive rocks that cover the greater portion of the peninsula. 
The latter may be broadly divided as hereunder : 

(a) Upper Eocene (?) : "Auriferous Series" of andesitic and 
dacitic flows, breccias, and tuffs ; all much propylitised. 

(b) Miocene : Beeson's Island group of andesites and dacite- 
breccias and tuffs. 

(c) Pliocene : Acid igneous rocks, developed to the east and 
south of the peninsula, mainly rhyolite, pumiceous agglomerate, 
pitchstone, &c. 

The main " Auriferous Series " covers a great portion of the 
peninsula and contains nearly all the important gold veins. The 
rocks of the series have recently been extensively studied so far 
as their general propylitisation would admit/ They are andesites, 
showing both hyalopilitic and pilotaxitic (micropoecillitic) structure. 
The chief varieties occurring are pyroxene-andesite, hypersthene- 
andesite, hornblende-andesite, and hornblende-pyroxene-andesite. 
With the andesites are associated dacites, that carry hypersthene, 
or hornblende, or pyroxene, or a combination of any two or of all 
three, as ferro-magnesian silicates. Both andesites and dacites 
have been extensively propylitised in many parts of the area to a 
white, yellow, or bluish-green soft rock with which the auriferous 
veins, as in Transylvania, are always associated. The processes of 
propylitisation are indeed here precisely the same as those described 
for certain andesitic goldfields of Western North America and for 
the dacites and andesites of Transylvania. The ultimate result is 
a soft, not greatly coherent rock, made up mainly of quartz, kaolin, 
chlorite, pyrite, &c. 

a Fraser, Bull, IV, N.Z. Geol. Surv., 1907, p. Jl'. 

b Tliomas, ibid., p. 49. 

c Sollas, " Rocks of Cape Colville Peninsula," I, 1905, Wellington. 


The Beeson's Island group is nowhere known to be auriferous ; 
and microscopic analysis shows its rocks to be andesites and 
dacites of types not greatly differing from those of the auriferous 
series. The members of the group are nevertheless easily distin- 
guished in the field, the younger group presenting a distinctly 
trachytic facies, while the ferro-magnesian silicates are also on the 
whole more porphyritic. 

The younger acid rocks (rhyolite, &c.) of Pliocene age, cover 
a large portion of the peninsula, especially in the east and south. 
They do not, as a rule, carry auriferous deposits, but gold-quartz 
veins have been found in them. It is believed that the Broken 
Hills mine, Tairua, lies within these rocks." The volcanic activity 
of Pliocene times has apparently persisted to the present day, 
since the recent tuffs and lavas of the Hot Lakes region to the south 
show no vital differentiation either in time or in type. 

Speaking generally, the gold-quartz veins of the northern 
portion of the area are irregular both in extent and in tenor. They 
have, however, especially when they form a network of interlacing 
stringers, proved at times exceedingly rich. In the southern areas 
of Karangahake and Waihi, the veins, on the other hand, are 
large and well-defined, but are of comparatively low grade. 

Dealing in detail with the fields of the Hauraki Peninsula, 
space can be given in this place for a consideration only of the 
chief areas, viz., Coromandel, Thames, Waihi, and Karangahake. 

The Coromandel field h lies some 40 miles due east of Auckland, 
across the Hauraki Gulf. The basement rocks of the area are the 
pre-Jurassic rocks to which allusion has already been made. These 
include ancient volcanic felsitic tuffs as well as ordinary detrital 
sediments. The andesites and dacites of the '"Auriferous Series" here, 
as elsewhere in the peninsula, are remarkably deficient in amygda- 
loids, pointing to lavas cooling with sufficient slowness to admit 
of the complete escape of imprisoned steam. 

The reefs of the Coromandel district are exceedingly erratic 
in course, dip, and tenor. The richest occur in zones or belts of 
propylitised rock. Three principal reef -channels or lode-zones 
occur on the Coromandel field : the Hauraki, Kapanga, and 
Tokatea. There is a possibility that they are merely separated 
portions of a single zone of solfataric action. 

The gold of Coromandel is of higher grade than is usual on the 
peninsula, being some 750 to 800 fine. In the Hauraki and Kapanga 
areas crystallized gold is absent, but in the Tokatea area, where 

a McKay and Sollas, " Rocks of Cape Colville Peninsula," I, pp. 61, 267. 

6 Maclaren. Ann. Rep. Mines Dept., New Zealand, 1900; Fraser, Bull. N.Z. GeoL 
Surv., No. 4. 1907. 


the andesites are only a few hundred feet above the pre-Jurassic 
rocks, it is the rule to find free gold in vughs and particularly in 
calcite veins. One remarkable form from the Rainbow Reef, 
Tokatea, made up of five plates of crystallized gold, simulated to a 
remarkable extent a butterfly." The form has been described 
elsewhere in this volume. In most cases in which calcite 
and quartz occur together in veins deposition appears to have 
been contemporaneous. A remarkable association of native gold 
with native arsenic has been met with in the Tokatea area. The 
arsenic forms hollow geodes with concentric shells that are easily 
broken off in succession. In the hollow interior are numerous 
interlacing dendritic threads of gold, which may in the aggregate 
weigh several ounces. The geodes often weigh several pounds and 
may be 6 to 8 inches in diameter. Gold is not found in the division 
planes separating the concentric spheres of growth. In the rich 
pay-shoots the gold is generally finely distributed throughout the 
quartz matrix. The associates of the gold are native arsenic, 
stibnite, pyrite, chalcopyrite, and arsenopyrite. The veins 
are small and erratic, the richest of recent years being Legge's 
Reef in the Hauraki area. From this and immediately adjacent 
reefs a little more than 400,000 gold has been extracted, 
of which 222,583 has been distributed in dividends. The veins 
were small, but much of the quartz carried 2 to 6 ounces of gold per 
pound of stone. The total gold yield of the Coromandel area is 
not certainly known, but to the end of 1906 may be estimated at 
1,743,790. 6 

The Thames goldfield lies near the head of the Hauraki Gulf. 
Its productive area is only a little over a square mile in extent. 
The country of the veins is entirely andesitic, but the underlying 
sedimentary pre-Jurassic rocks outcrop as a small exposure some 
two miles north of the auriferous field. The principal veins run north- 
north-east and south-south-west, occurring in parallel zones of 
decomposed rock separated by bands, locally termed ' bars," of 
less decomposed rock. The field is traversed by exceptionally 
well-defined comparatively recent faults, of which the Moanataiari 
is the chief. This fault is apparently one of the elements in the 
formation of the graben area of the Hauraki Gulf and its former 
prolongation, now the swampy plains of the Thames Valley. The 
trace of the Moanataiari Fault may be followed on the surface for 
several miles, the downthrow, as indicated by the difference in level, 
being some 350 feet. c The fault hades south-west at 45 3 . Much 

"Maclaren, Trans. N.Z. Inst., XXXI, 1899, p. 492, where the crystal faces were 
figured in error. See Fig. 46. 
" Fraser, loc. cit. sup., p. 18. 
c Park, "Geology and Veins, &c, of the Hauraki Peninsula," Auckland, 1897, p. 62. 




of the productive area of the field is on the seaward side of it. 
Movements have taken place along it at comparatively recent dates, 
since the slickensided footwall is still well-preserved, and the streams 
from the footwall side, on crossing the fault, suddenly emerge from 
the narrow upper valley to the broader portion brought into juxta- 
position by downthrow. 

The major vein-systems of the field follow a general north- 
easterly course. The systems are made up, as a rule, of one or two 
main lodes with numerous irregular branching and cross veins. 
The veins are celebrated for their bonanzas. Of these the Shotover 
and Caledonia bonanzas were the richest, the latter producing 
from a limited area 9 tons of gold in 15 months. The yield of the 
Thames field has generally depended for any given year on a single 
mine. Sometimes one and sometimes another has been in bonanza. 
The steadiest producer has always been the Waiotahi mine, which 
has consistently paid dividends on a small capital since 1873. 
From 1905 to 1908 this mine has been in bonanza, as shown in the 
following table : 

s. d. 

Yield to December, 1904 193.079 6 8 

1905 73,918 9 1 

1906 223,678 4 3 

1907 149,820 12 

Total 640.496 12 

The occurrence of " specimen stone " (containing from 1 to 6 
ounces gold per pound of quartz) is characteristic both of this field 
and of the Coromandel field to the north. The associates of the 
gold are pyrite, chalcopyrite,. galena, stibnite, blende, pyrargyrite, 
&c. The Norfolk vein in the north of the field has a gangue of 
quartz which is coloured pink with rhodonite, thus resembling 
certain veins near the Gold King mine in the San Juan 
mountains, Colorado, also in andesites.* a 

The main reefs are accompanied by numerous stringers both 
in the hanging- and foot-walls. These are often mined as a single 
body. Their intersections within the network are often rich, and 
it was, in fact, such a stockwork that formed the Shotover 
and Caledonian bonanzas. The gold is very irregularly distributed, 
occurring in ill-defined shoots and pockets. The bullion is about 
650 fine, but varies considerably from various parts of the 
field, and even from different parts of the same reef. The rich 
pay-shoots of the Thames area have hitherto been confined to the 

" Purington, in lift. 


upper zones above a depth of 500 feet ; none have been continuous 
below that level, though independent but lower-grade shoots are 
known at depths of 640 feet. The continuation of the veins and 
shoots in depth is a matter that is indissolubly connected with the 
range of propylitisation of the andesite ; it is also dependent, though 
in a lesser degree, on the depth at which the floor of pre-Jurassic 
basement rock may be encountered. Veins do occur in the latter 
rocks, as at Kuaotunu, on the north-eastern side of the peninsula, 
and do also continue from the overlying andesite into the pre- 
Jurassic rocks below, as at the Royal Oak mine, Coromandel, but 
in neither case have they proved of great value in the older rocks. 
Considerable analogy in the latter case is shown by the veins of the 
Vulkoj-Korabia area in Transylvania, where the rich lodes of the 
overlying dacites are, in the basement rocks, either poor or are 
entirely barren. 

The Karangahake district is, next to Waihi, the most productive 
of the areas of the southern portion of the Hauraki Peninsula. 
It is situated at the mouth of the great gorge cut through andesites 
by the Ohinemuri river at a point some 8 miles west of Waihi. 
The veins at Karangahake lie in andesitic flows and breccias. Two 
mines of some importance, the Talisman and the Crown, are 
working on reefs of the same names. The reef of the former is from 
3 to 4 feet in width, with ill-defined foot- and hanging- walls. The 
quartz shows the peculiar lamellar or platy structure due to the 
removal of calcite from a quartz-calcite mixture in which the 
quartz has been moulded on lamellar and rhombohedral calcite. 
The pay-ore occurs in well-marked shoots, and averages in value 
from 2 to 3 per ton ; the proportion of gold to silver by weight 
is 1 : 20. A small branch vein contains rich gold with stibnite, 
calcite, and siderite. Cobalt is also present, but has been determined 
only by analysis. 

The Talisman Consolidated Mines had produced, to the end 
of 1907, bullion to the value of 783,334. The output of the Crown 
Mines had been a little less, viz., 718,767. The present annual 
value of the yield of the former is about 150,000, and of the latter 
about 50,000. 

Some little distance to the east of Karangahake is an interesting 
occurrence of cinnabar. The ore is contained in a flat-lying lode 
or band of hard chalcedonic quartz, through which the cinnabar 
is disseminated. It is not yet known whether the deposit will 
prove of economic value. 

The Waihi district lying at the base of the Hauraki Peninsula, 
contains one of the most productive of the world's gold mines. 
It is situated on a broad, somewhat barren, bracken-clad plain, 
representing the bottom of an ancient lake basin that now lies 



nearly 300 feet above sea-level and is almost surrounded by hills. 
The characteristic topographic features of the Waihi area are the 
Martha, Union, Amaranth, and Black hills, rising as islands 
of andesite above the general level of the rhyolite plain. In former 
days the great outcrop of the Martha lode was a conspicuous feature 
in the vicinity of the mines. It had indeed been known to pros- 
pectors since 1878, and towards 1890 had been worked, but 
unprofitably, by the pan-amalgamation process. Its true develop- 
ment, however, dates from the introduction of the cyanide process 

Fig. 98. Geological Sketch Map of th"e Waihi Mine (Fraser). 
1. Altered Dacites (vein-bearing). 2. Younger Andesites and Dacites. 3. Rhyolites. 

a method of metallurgical treatment that has proved exceptionally 
well-suited for the recovery of the exceedingly fine gold of the 
Waihi lodes. The Waihi mine itself is situated at the end of a long, 
low spur, that juts out southward into the plain from the andesitic 
ranges in the north. This narrow peninsula is wrapped round on 
three sides by younger rhyolites. Towards the south-east and 
some 600 to 700 yards from the Martha Hill, an island of andesitic 
rock appears above the rhyolite plain, and contains, among others, 
the Union and Silverton reefs. 

In the Waihi area there is no sign of the pre-Jurassic basement 
rocks that are seen to underlie Tertiary volcanics at Coromandel 



and at Thames. So far as may be made out at present the 
country of the Waihi veins is the highly propylitised and weathered 
andesite of the "Auriferous Series." It has, nevertheless, been 
apparently originally somewhat more acid in character than the 
rocks of the already-mentioned goldfields lying further to the north. 
Rocks from the neighbourhood of the Waihi lodes have been 
described by Sollas as quartz-hypersthene-andesite and (apparently 
from much the same locality and horizon) pyroxene-soda-rhyolite, 
the latter being distinguished by containing a soda-bearing ortho- 
clase, so far as its nature can be judged from the somewhat meagre 
microscopical and chemical evidence it furnishes. The question 

Fig. 99. Vertical Cross-section through Martha Hill {Fraser). 

A. Surface soils, &c. B. Flow rhyolite. C. Brccciated flow rhyolite. I). Old Land Surface. 

E. Younger andesites and dacites. F. Old Land Surface with silicified and carbonized wood. 

G. Altered vein-bearing dacites. 

being one of considerable interest, the following description n of the 
acid rocks may be quoted, the rock described coming from the 
No. 3 level, Waihi mine : 

Hornblende-pyroxene-rhyolite. "A light greenish-grey rock, with 
obvious quartz and pyrites. The matrix is granular, polarising, 
much altered, crowded with felspar laths in stream lines, which are 
obvious with ordinary light but scarcely visible with cross-nicols, 
most of them not at all. Irregular quartz grains ; Phenocrysts : 
Orthoclase. Numerous large crystals beginning to pass into mus- 
covite. Some fimbriate at the margin, showing continued growth 
after extension. Pyrites crystals included in some. 

" Hornblende represented by numerous resorption pseudomorphs. 

" Pyroxene represented by pseudomorphs in chlorite, small, and 
not very numerous. 

"Quartz : A few corroded grains and bi-pyramids. 

"Ilmenite : A few plates in leucoxene. 

" Pyrites : Numerous scattered cr\^stals. :5 

Sollas, loc. cit. sup., II, p. 67. 



In view of the occurrence of orthoclase (valencianite) in the 
lodes of Waihi, and of the exceedingly altered state of the country, 
it is conceivable that the orthoclase found in the above rock may 
be valencianite due to secondary action ; indeed, considerable 
indication of such a growth is outlined in the foregoing 
petrological description. It is therefore probable that the 
highly-decomposed rocks of the Waihi area do not represent 
original rhyolites, but a local succession of andesites, dacites, 
and even more acid rocks that have been so thoroughly 
altered by solfataric solutions that many of their original 
characters have disappeared. The possibly rhyolitic rocks in this 
complex must in any case be sharply distinguished from the 
younger rhyolites that at a much later (Pliocene) stage filled the 
valleys and depressions caused by sub-aerial erosion in the rocks 

Ne8 800 

Fig. 100. Cross -section, Waihi Mine, showing " Blind " Lodes (excepting Edward vein, parallel 

to line of section) {Fraser). 

of the "Auriferous Series." Since the younger rocks contain no 
quartz lodes it may be inferred that their deposition took place 
subsequently to the propylitisation of the andesites and dacites. 

The vein system of Waihi is somewhat complex, as will appear 
from the accompanying sketch-map. The quartz reefs are large and 
numerous (sixteen are known), but are all connected. The principal 
are the Martha, Welcome, Empire, Edward, and Royal. The Martha 
is the main lode of the mine, striking north-north-east and south - 
south-west and underlying south-east at very steep angles. At 
the surface its width varied from 20 to 60 feet, with an outcrop of 
over 300 yards. At a depth of 900 feet its range in width is from 
70 to 110 feet. As already mentioned, the outcrop showed as a 
steep bluff, the white quartz of which was visible, especially in the 


rays of the setting sun, from many miles across the plain. The 
Martha lode traverses the Waihi mine property from one boundary 
to the other. The Welcome lode ranges in width from 50 to 100 feet, 
the Empire lode from 25 to 30 feet, the Royal about 14 feet, and the 
most recently discovered, the Edward, from 50 to 70 feet. The 
last at the maximum width has shown assays of 10 per ton. The 
filling of the lodes is calcific quartz. The walls are not at all well- 
defined, and the general appearance of the lodes indicates successive 
opening along fissures near the surface and successive fillings with 
quartz along the openings thus formed, together with a very 
considerable amount of metasomatic replacement of the fissure- 
walls. The lodes are enclosed in a thoroughly decomposed country 
highly impregnated with pyrite. The ore is a hard grey to white 
quartz with calcite ; it is occasionally laminated, the laminations 
being often rendered apparent by banded inclusions of silver 
sulphides. Its average value is 2. 14s. per short ton. In the upper 
levels the development of lamellar quartz from the vein-mixture 
of quartz and calcite is notable. In this case the calcite is dissolved 
out by acid waters, the resulting cavities being found partly filled 
by manganese oxides/' The sulphides amount to about 3 per cent, 
of the ore, and are mainly pyrite and blende. The sulphide ore of 
the lower levels now furnishes the greater part of the gold, though 
oxidised ore has been found below 800 feet. Selenium occurs in 
the ore, but has been met with only in the bullion and has not been 
identified as a mineral. With this occurrence an interesting analogy 
is afforded by the Radjang-Lebong mine, Sumatra, also in andesitic 
rock. Nickel and cobalt have been detected in close analyses, and 
are apparently associated with the manganese oxides that are found 
filling the cavities in the lamellar quartz of the oxidation zone. 
The gold is very finely divided and is rarely visible. The pro- 
portion of silver to gold in the ore is about 7:1. The rich ore 
of Waihi is a characteristically banded quartz. The sulphide ore 
contains both more gold and more silver than the ore of the oxidised 
zone. There is, indeed, considerable evidence for the assumption 
of an impoverishment rather than an enrichment of the Waihi 
lode-outcrops. The uppermost sulphide zone at the base of the 
zone of oxidation was very rich, averaging from 1 to 2 ounces gold 
and 30 to 60 ounces silver per ton, while exceedingly rich portions 
assayed 25 ounces gold and 1,000 ounces silver per ton. 
Morgan 6 therefore maintains that there has been a definite 
zone of secondary sulphide-enrichment. The greater part of the 

a Lindgren, Eng. Min. Jour. Feb. 2, 1905; Bell and Fraser, Can. Min. Jour., 
Aug., 1908. 

b Eng. Min. Jour.. May 4, 1905, p. 861. 



gold is contained in pyrite, and little is found in the rarely 
occurring galena and blende. 

The Martha lode has been proved for a length of over 3,400 
feet in the Waihi Company's mine, and for a depth of 1,000 feet. 
Many of the other lodes above enumerated have been discovered 
only by underground prospecting, since the majority, large as they 
are, are so-called "blind" lodes that do not, as shown in Fig. 100, 
reach the surface, and therefore show no outcrops. 

The Waihi Grand Junction mine is situated on the strike of 
the Martha lode to the east. The lode is there much smaller. This 
mine has produced during 1906 and 1907 bullion to the value of 
89,626. Its section of the lode is hidden beneath a bed of rhyolite 
that has filled the ancient valley on the slopes of which the Martha 
lode outcropped. 

At Waihi Beach, 6 miles from Waihi, a secondary auriferous 
deposition has taken place in spherulitic rhyolites of Pliocene age. 
The presence of such secondary gold-deposits is not surprising, 
since hot springs are still sporadic along the eastern coast of the 

The total output of the Waihi mine from 1890 to the end of 
1907 is shown in the following table : 

1890 ... 

... ... 


1900 ... 112,012 tons ... 317,902 

1891 ... 


1901 ... 159,325 , 

... 461,205 

1892 ... 

18,297 tc 

>ns ... 46,219 

1902 ... 179,485 , 

... 521,574 

1893 ... 



1903 ... 231,323 , 

... 658,393 

1894 ... 



1904 ... 259,978 , 

... 683,882 

1895 ... 


... 120,335 

1905 ... 298,531 , 

... 728,521 

1896 ... 


... 135,156 

1906 ... 328,866 , 

... 837,927 

1897 ... 


... 144,041 

1907 ... 356,974 , 

... 878,486 

1898 ... 

1899 ... 

77 Q99 

... 256,494 
... 302,525 

1 I , O i*J 




To March, 1908, there had been paid in dividends 2,926,215. 
The total costs of treatment were in 1907 about 1 per ton. Among 
the other mining camps of the Hauraki Peninsula is the Great 
Barrier Island, where the reefs are large but of low grade, varying 
in tenor from 30s. to 3 per ton. The yield during 1907 of the 
Great Barrier mines was only some 650. At Kuaotunu on the 
north-eastern coast the veins carry finely divided gold and lie in 
the pre-Jurassic basement sedimentary rocks. The yield has 
never been extensive. In the southern area besides the camps of 
Waihi and Karangahake already mentioned, are the important veins 
of Komata and Waitekauri. At the former place low-grade veins 
are on the whole being successively worked. The Komata Reefs 
mine from its opening in 1900 produced to the end of 1907 bullion 
of the value of 273,176. At Waitekauri a large reef was worked 


and jnelded considerable quantities of gold, but with a change in 
the reef in depth from the lamellar quartz similar to that 
characteristic of the Waihi and Karangahake mines to the 
original mixture in depth of quartz and calcite, the mine became 
too poor to work, and was finally abandoned. The Broken Hills 
mines at Tairua, where gold-quartz veins are being profitably 
Avorked at or near the junction of rhyolite and andesite, has 
produced, from 1900 to 1907 inclusive, bullion to the value of 

West Coast. In the middle auriferous area of New Zealand 
stretching along the western slopes of the mountain ranges of 
the South Island, both gold-quartz veins and placer deposits 
derived from them are numerous. In the Nelson and Marlborough 
provinces the veins are in micaceous schists of indefinite age. The 
only mine of importance in this area is situated at Taitapu, near 
Nelson. The placer deposits of these two northern provinces 
include modern river gravels, high-level gravels, and ancient Tertiary 
folded sediments." 

In Westland, the centre of quartz-mining is Reefton, Avhere 
veins occur in Palaeozoic (Carboniferous ?) strata. The country is 
grey talcose clayey shales and sandstones. The veins strike with 
the country and several parallel-bedded veins are occasionally 
worked as one reef. The quartz-bodies consist of extremely irregular 
bunches and masses branching in all directions into the country. 
They are nevertheless aggregated along certain lines, longitudinal 
connection being made by narrow fissures that sometimes contain 
quartz, but more often " pug." The narrow fissures occur in the 
harder parts of the rock, the quartz ore-bodies as a rule in the softer 
country. Deposition of gold takes place generally on the slaty 
selvages of the veins and also in quartz containing angular fragments 
of the argillite or grauwacke of the country. This type of brecciated 
ore-filling is locally known as " magpie stone." The veins vary in 
thickness between 4 and 40 feet ; in depth they pinch to mere 
threads, but often recover their former width with deeper sinking. 
The average tenor of the quartz raised is 10 to 14 dwts. gold. The 
gold is of high quality, reaching a value of 4 per ounce. Don^ 
has shown that the hard rock at Reefton contains little or no pyrite 
and is not auriferous, while the softer rock adjacent to the quartz- 
veins was both pyritous and auriferous. Nevertheless, pyrite taken 
from slates at points distant from the auriferous lodes carried no 

a McKay, " Gold Deposits of New Zealand," Wellington, 1903. 
b Trans. Amer. Inst. M.E., XXVII.. 1898, p. 584. 

Plate IX. 

Open-cut, Martha Lode, Waihi, New Zealand. 

The Humphrey's Gully Beds, Westland, New Zealand. 
Auriferous Gravels overlain by Morainic Debris. 



gold. The output of the principal mines of the Reefton district is 
shown in the following table : 



Value of Ore 

per Ton. 


Proiluceil in 




P.iid to 

End of 1906 

Consolidated Goldtields of New Zealand 

Progress Mines of New Zealand 

Keep-it-Dark Company 

s. (1. 

1 17 5 
1 14 5 
1 16 10 



The subscribed capital of the last-named company was no 
more than 6,208. It has been in successful operation for 33 years ; 
its present total working costs are only 10s. 9d. per ton. In the 
Reefton district from the 31st March, 1880, to the 31st December, 
1906, a total quantity of 1,285,771 tons of ore were crushed for a 
yield of 687,555 ounces gold worth 2,715,838. 

The Lyell goldfield, 25 miles further north, shows similar 
geological features. Elsewhere in Westland quartz-mining is carried 
on, as at Boatman's and at Blackwater, in mica-schist. 

The majority of the short rapid rivers of Westland carry 
auriferous gravels. These are attacked by hydraulicing and by 
dredging. In both respects they have yielded successful mines. 
Auriferous black sands, consisting largely of magnetite and ilmenite, 
occur in many places along the west coast of South Island of New 
Zealand, and are worked, especially after storms, by individual 
miners. The gold of the black sand is exceedingly fine and 
presents considerable difficulty in treatment. 

Otago. Numerous gold-quartz veins occur in ancient crystal- 
line quartz-schists and phyllites in the central and nortii-western 
portions of the provinces of Otago. The prevailing rock throughout 
central Otago is mica-schist, which is generally foliated with quartz- 
laminse and is interbedded at times with thick bands of chlorite- 
schist. Quartz-schists are also common, while occasional bands 
of actinolite-schist may be met with. In most places the schists 
are sharply contorted and show a silky lustre on corrugated surfaces. 
Towards the upper part of the series the schists become insensibly 
less and less altered and pass into argillaceous, arenaceous, and 
micaceous rocks. So far as is known, igneous dykes are entirely 
absent from the schist areas, although granites, syenites, and basic 
dykes form the great mountain complex further to the west between 
the southern lakes and the fjord regions. The whole appearance 
of the schists, together with their composition, undoubtedly warrants 
the assumption that the original unaltered rocks from which the 


schists have been metamorphosed were sediments and were not 
igneous rocks. 

The quartz-veins in the Central Otago schists are often auriferous 
but are poor and of low grade. In few places have they been found 
sufficiently rich to work. The most valuable are those of 
Skippers, Macetown, and Arrowtown, all lying to the north of Lake 
Wakatipu in the front valleys of the New Zealand Alpine chain, 
which here reaches a height of some 10,000 feet. Other reefing 
areas of less importance are Waipori and Nenthorn, towards the 
eastern coast, and the Preservation Inlet field in the extreme 
south-west corner of the island. 

At Macetown the Premier forms the principal lode system. 
It is traceable for nearly 2,000 feet, but the greater part of it is 
filled with " mullock," or broken schist country, which carries small 
quartz veins and contains much carbonaceous matter. Here, 
three nearly parallel veins are met by a cross reef, pay-shoots being 
formed at the intersections. 

At Skippers, which is separated from Macetown by a ridge 
6,000 feet high, the Phoenix mine has been most productive. The 
lodes are three in number and form a parallel system that traverses 
a well-defined lode channel. As on many other fields characterised 
by parallel veins, the pay-shoots in the lodes are never opposite 
one another either vertically or horizontally. At the Phcenix mine, 
therefore, a pay-shoot on one lode denotes two barren zones imme- 
diately opposite. Further, the lodes of Skippers are always poor 
when their strike is south of west, but their tenor improves when 
their strike turns to north of west. Don's researches a have 
shown for this region that the quartz folia of the mica-schist are 
not auriferous when pyrites is absent, and further, that pyrites 
is present in appreciable quantity only when the quartz laminse 
are near an auriferous lode. 

The alluvial deposits of Otago are of considerable value. Of 
the 6,215,914 ounces exported from the province from 1861 to 
1906, a very great proportion came from the placers. Much of the 
placer gold was won by the individual digger working along the 
beaches of the Molyneux and Kawarau rivers at times of low water, 
using only the crudest of appliances the pan, cradle, and long-torn. 
In later days many attempts were made to recover by machinery 
the gold inaccessible to the ordinary digger from the deeper waters 
of these swift-running rivers. It was indeed these attempts that 
gave rise to the modern dredging methods that now find world- 
wide application. The early dredges were dippers worked by hand ; 
these after a time were succeeded by current-wheel dredgers, in which 

" Loc. cit., p. 581. 


the motive power that raised the gravel from the river bottom was 
furnished by the strength of the current. The success of the earlier 
steam dredges working on the richer bars and ridges was so marked 
that many dredges were hurriedly built to work in spots from whence 
there was little hope of remuneration. In 1900 the dredging boom 
was at its height, but by 1907 only 35 dredges remained in operation 
in Otago, and eight on the West Coast. In 1906 the Otago dredges 
produced 415,117 gold, and those of the West Coast 86,082. 

The alluvial placers of Otago never attained the importance nor 
furnished the yield per cubic yard of those of Victoria or of California. 
Much of the alluvial drift is of Lower Miocene age, though the gravels 
on which most dredges are now operating are recent, and are often 
merely a re- wash of the Miocene gravels. No large nuggets have 
been found in the New Zealand placers, the heaviest on record 
weighing only 27 ounces. The source of the alluvial gold is the 
quartz veins and the quartz laminae of the mica-schists and quartz- 
schists." These rocks are easily eroded and their constituent 
minerals are quickly separated in the channels of the rivers in which 
the waters flow with currents of 6 to even 7 knots an hour, thus 
forming ideal natural sluices. The rivers have a fairly even 
gradient, and are subject to periodic floods arising from the 
melting of the snows. While the floods are not sufficiently strong 
to scour the bottom or to cut fresh channels for the river, the 
current is yet adequate to roll over and to triturate the quartz 
pebbles and to liberate their contained gold. The lighter mica is 
readily removed by the river currents, even when flowing at 
speeds much less than their normal. 

Numerous high-level auriferous gravels, which are often 
well cemented, are worked by hydraulicing. Of these the Blue 
Spur deposits near Lawrence are typical. They lie at the head of the 
Gabriel's Gully, where the first payable placer gold was found in 
1861. The deposit is a great mass of cemented conglomerate which 
has been preserved by having been faulted down. 6 Its shape is 
roughly oval, and its original area was some 45 acres. The matrix 
contains boulders of sizes varying up to 2 feet in diameter. The 
pebbles are cemented by a light greenish-blue fine-grained cement, 
from which the designation " Blue Spur " has been derived. The 
stratigraphical horizon of the Blue Spur conglomerates is below 
the Pliocene coal measures (lignites) of Otago. In 1906 the Blue 
Spur Company treated by hydraulic methods over 200,000 cubic 
yards of cemented gravel, all of which required blasting, for an 
average yield of 6^d. per cubic yard. 

a Park, Bull. Geol. Surv. N.Z., No. 2, 1906. 

1 Rickard, T. A., Trans. Amer. Inst. M.E., XXI, 1892, p. 432. 




Loose auriferous gravels are worked in Otago at an average 
cost of lfd. per cubic yard ; in the West Coast district the costs 
are slightly higher, reaching 2d. per cubic yard. 

In addition to the foregoing well-known occurrences small 
quantities of gold have been reported from time to time from the 
central active volcanic regions of the North Island. In this connection 
certain analyses made by the New Zealand Geological Survey may 
be here quoted as throwing a most interesting light on the deposition 
of gold." Assays of the sinter of the Whakarewarewa hot springs 

P'igs. 101 aj<d 102. Section and Plan of Bltjb Spur Gravels, 
Otago, New Zealand (Riclcard). 

near Rotorua, yielded silver to the extent of 4 ounces 18 dwts., and 
gold to the extent of 1 dwt. 4 grains per ton. Again, mud, composed 
mainly of quartz, amorphous silica, and a little felspar, from the 
famous Waimangu geyser, perhaps the greatest known within the 
historical period, but now unfortunately extinct, gave on assay 
6 dwts. 1 grain silver and 5 grains gold per ton. 

Gold has also been obtained near Cape Terawhiti, Wellington. 

a Bell, X.Z. Mines Kecord, Jan., 1908, p. 242; Maclaren. Geol. Mag., Dec., IU, 
1906, p. 514. 

Plate X. 

Junction of Clutha and Kawarau Rivers, Cromwell 


The Clutha, below Roxburgh. 


About 1862 some 42 ounces of alluvial gold were obtained here ; 
unpayable gold-quartz veins in Triassic slates and sandstones 
are also known." 


The auriferous vein-deposits of Australia clearly fall into two 
distinct divisions, that are well separated, both geologically and 
geographically. The older includes the goldfields of Archaean 
and pre-Cambrian age, in the west and north-west. These are 
associated with the basement metamorphic schists of the continent. 
The younger division lies along the great Eastern Cordillera 
of Australia, and stretches northward from Tasmania through 
Victoria, New South Wales, and Queensland, and is continued by 
way of the Torres Strait islands into the highlands of central and 
north-western New Guinea. The deposits of this class are apparently 
initially dependent on great granodioritic intrusions that 
have taken place along the axial line of earth folding. 
The gold-quartz veins may occur either in the igneous 
rock itself or in the sedimentary strata overlying or adjacent. 
While the general age of the granitic or granodioritic 
intrusion (petrologically it finds its closest analogue in the 
granodiorites of the Californian Sierra Nevada) is not definitely 
fixed, there are many reasons for assigning the intrusion to the later 
stages of the Permo-Carboniferous. fo All adjacent strata of greater 
age may therefore carry auriferous veins. The general habitus of 
the gold deposits in the north is the granitoid rock ; while 
in the south gold-quartz veins are more often found in the 
sedimentary rocks through which the granodioritic rocks 
are intrusive. Important exceptions to both rules occur and 
are of especial value as forming evidences of a general genetic 
connection between the gold deposits of the north and south 
respectively. The uplift in the north having been greater, 
or possibly the overlying beds having been thinner, denudation 
has proceeded to relatively greater depths there than in the 
south, where the auriferous mineralisation, while not so obviously 
connected, e.g., in Bendigo, Ballarat, and Beaconsfield (Tasmania), 
with igneous intrusions as in the northern fields of Queensland, 
is nevertheless to be referred to the same period of volcanic 
activity. With the information available at the present 
time there appears no valid reason for separating those goldfields 

a McKay, loc. cit. sup., p. 5. 

b Andrews, Proc. Linn. Soc. KS.W.. Ser. 3, VII, 1902, p. 167. 



that are apparently dependent on basic rocks {e.g., augite- 
andesites, as at Lucknow, Gympie, &c.) from the general 
series, since the more basic rocks are not widespread, and, when 
considered as a whole, may be regarded as either local segregations 
from the acidic magma or, more probably, as the normal 
basic members generally sequent on acidic eruptions. It has 
already been suggested that the actual auriferous deposition may 
possibly have been a function of the extrusion of these more 
basic members. The remarkable similarity of the Eastern 
Australasian chain of goldfields to those of the Calif ornian type, 
extending along the Pacific slope from Lower California to 
Northern Alaska, may once more be pointed out. It is perhaps 
more than a coincidence that the greatest alluvial deposits of the 
modern world should have been derived from parent-veins in rocks 
so similar. In Australia, as in California, auriferous concentration 
has proceeded in the rivers during the whole of Tertiary time. 
In each country many of the older placers have been covered by 
basaltic flows. 

The subjoined table shows the total gold yield, to 1907 
inclusive, of Australia since the year 1851, when the placer 
deposits of New South Wales were first known : 


Fine Ounces. 

Value, Sterling. 


Western Australia 


New South Wales 


South Australia 












The history of gold in Queensland opens with the ill-fated 
"rush" to Canoona in 1858, when 15,000 to 20,000 diggers were 
left starving on the banks of the Fitzroy river, near the site of the 
present town of Rockhampton. Disaster was averted only by the 
prompt action of the Governments of New South Wales and Victoria 
in sending steamers to the spot to take away the unfortunate 
adventurers. The irony of fate is illustrated by the facts that 
Canoona is only 12 miles from Mount Morgan, one of the greatest 
of the world's gold mines, and that there was, moreover, considerable 
alluvial gold in the neighbourhood that remained undiscovered 


by the early diggers. There is thus considerable analogy between 
this abortive rush and another, and even greater, that was taking 
place about the same time to Pike's Peak in Colorado, beside the 
then unknown Cripple Creek field, destined in later days to become 
so widely famed. 

In 1862, alluvial gold was found near Peak Downs, Clermont, 
and this field remains to the present day the principal placer region 
of Queensland. The first reef worked in Queensland was the Hector 
on the Crocodile goldfield, near Rockhampton. The date of its 
discovery was 1865. In 1867, the Gympie, and in 1868, the 
Ravenswood fields were opened up. The present leading field, 
Charters Towers, remained unknown until 1872. 

Yorkc Peninsula. Horn Island, one of the Prince of Wales 
group, lies in Torres Strait, and with others of the group (Possession, 
Prince of Wales, Hammond, and Thursday islands), carries slightly 
auriferous veins. Gold in payable quantities was first found in 
1894. The auriferous veins lie in a decomposed granite made up 
largely of felspar and quartz, with a green decomposition product 
from a ferro-magnesian silicate. a The islands are a continuation 
of Yorke Peninsula, and the granites are probably therefore akin 
to those of the Queensland Cordillera that furnish the greater part 
of the gold yield of the State. The zone of oxidation in the veins 
extends only to 10 feet in depth. Pyrite and galena are common. 
The veins are rich but are very small, and contain refractory ore. 
On Possession Island, a few miles south-east of Horn Island, small 
networks of auriferous veins in a similar porphyritic granite have 
been mined. 6 These fields are intermittently worked. 

The Hamilton and Coen veins form the most northerly of the 
Queensland mainland goldfields. They are situated on the western 
slope of the central chain of the Cape Yorke Peninsula. The veins 
lie along a broad zone developed along the contact line of metamor- 
phic schists and quartzites with biotite-granites. Eurite dykes 
are common, and the characteristic tonalite (quartz-mica-diorite) 
of Charters Towers is also found. 

The Philp (Alice River) field, discovered in 1904, lies at the 
head of the Alice river, 140 miles due west of Cooktown,in a granite 
of the normal auriferous type. The value of the quartz crushed is 
about an ounce fine gold per ton. At Starcke goldfield, 50 miles 
north-west of Cooktown, alluvial gold has been worked since 1890. 
It is derived apparently from veins in quartzites. These veins are 

a Cameron, Rep. Geol. Surv. Queensland, Xo. 180, 1902, p. 18. 

" Loc. cit., p. 22. 

c Ball, Rep. Geol. Surv. Queensland, No. 163, 1901. 


notable for the association of gold in shoots with stibnite. Some 
of the veins on the Munburra section are associated with porphyry 

The Palmer goldfield was discovered in 1873 and for a time 
produced large quantities of alluvial gold. By the end of 1877 it 
had yielded 819,697 fine ounces of alluvial gold worth 3,481,849, 
in addition to which huge quantities had been smuggled out of 
the country by the Chinese who had flocked to these alluvial 
fields. Soon after the discovery of the placers the veins were opened 
up and many thousands of tons of quartz were crushed for yields 
of 1 1 to 2 ounces per ton. The total produce of the Palmer gold- 
field has been, to the end of 1907, some 1,323,735 ounces fine gold 
worth 5,622,866. 

The country of the Palmer veins is sedimentary rock, viz., 
shales, sandstone, and limestones, probably of Carboniferous or of 
even greater age. It is to be correlated with that of the Hodgkin- 
son field, 60 miles to the south-east. The sedimentary rocks are 
traversed by dykes of dolerite and diorite. Both the Hodgkinson 
and the Palmer fields lie close to great areas of the Permo-Carboni- 
ferous granitoid masses. b 

The Hodgkinson field is situated some 60 miles west of Cairns. 
Of late years its gold yield has been surpassed by the value of wolfram 
and molybdenite obtained. Stratified rocks of the Gympie (Carboni- 
ferous) series, composed of nearly vertical shales, sandstones, 
grits, and conglomerates, are traversed by two great barren quartz 
" buck reefs," 3 to 40 feet in width. The material of the " buck 
reefs " often resembles a granular quartzite, but it may, on the 
other hand, be finely laminated and jasperoid. The buck reefs 
occasionally form sheer upstanding walls 100 feet high, and may be 
traced by the eye across country for many miles. Two groups of 
auriferous veins may be made out, the first striking with, but 
underlying at right angles to the strata ; the second cuts across 
the strata and underlies always to the east. Free gold occurs in 
laminated quartz, and is associated with variable quantities of 
galena and pyrites. Near Thornborough, the Southern Cross reef 
carries 3 ounces gold per ton in a matrix of quartz and scheelite. 
The yield of the Hodgkinson field to the end of 1907 had been 
227,703 fine ounces gold, worth approximately 967,000. 

Croydon. The Croydon field is situated some 100 miles 
south-east of the head of the Gulf of Carpentaria. It is, with the 

a Cameron, Rep. Geol. Surv. Queensland, No. 209, 1907, p. 6. 

b Jack, "Geology of Queensland," Brisbane, 1892, p. 122; Id., Rep. Geol. Surv. 
Queensland, No. 144, 1899. 

c Rands, Rep. Geol. Surv. Queensland, No. 118, 1896 ; Dunstan, loc. cit. No. 202, 
l!Mi.-, ; Id., loc. cit., No. 212, 1907. 


exception of the comparatively unimportant Cloncurry goldfield, 
the most westerly of the Queensland goldfields, which are, as 
has already been stated, almost entirely grouped along the flanks 
of the eastern coastal range, and are in close genetic connection 
with the granitoid core of that uplift. The goldfield was proclaimed 
in 1886 and has since been famous for its exceedingly rich shoots 
of gold. The country of the reefs is a granitoid rock, and, to a lesser 
extent, an allied felsite. The former rock, owing to the greater 
rapidity with which it has weathered, is now almost completely 
concealed beneath thin conglomerates and sandstones of the 
Desert Sandstone (Upper Cretaceous) Formation, and beneath 
laterites and detrital rocks of comparatively recent age. The 
felsites, on the other hand, form the hilly country to the north-east 
of Croydon. There is no evidence available as to the age of the 
granites and felsites, but it may be shown from petrological 
data that they are probably to be grouped with the Permo- 
Carboniferous intrusions of the Cordilleran uplift. The granite is 
greatly altered even at depths of 1,300 feet from the surface. It is 
made up of a pink or grey felspar with clear quartz and contains 
a little dark-greenish product arising from the alteration of horn- 
blende or mica. In most specimens, however, the ferro-magnesian 
silicate is in very small quantities, and in such cases the rock pre- 
sents a decidedly aplitic appearance. The associated minerals are 
remarkable. Graphite, occurring apparently in broad zones in the 
granite, is abundant, as also is calcite, siderite, and fluorspar. 
As might be expected from the influence of igneous 
intrusions on the carbonaceous Pernio- Carboniferous rocks, the 
Queensland auriferous veins in general carry a good deal of 
graphite, e.g., at Hamilton, Coen, Croydon, Cloncurry, Gympie, 
Normanby, Yorkey, Stanthorpe, &c. In some places indeed 
the actual transition from coal to graphite under the influence 
of the igneous intrusion may be made out, as at Mount Bopple 
and Cape Upstarts Graphite also occurs under similar conditions 
in New South Wales. The granite country is impregnated to a 
small extent with pyrite, chalcopyrite, galena, and arsenopyrite. 
Both coarse and fine-grained granites occur. The former have 
generally been supposed to be intrusive into the latter, 
but for this assumption there is no clear evidence. The 
felsites are as a rule fine-grained rocks, but occasionally 
contain free quartz in large grains. They also contain graphite. 
They are possibly somewhat younger than the granites since felsitic 
dykes have been noted in the latter, and since the granite appears 
to underlie the felsite. A chain of intrusive basic (dolerite) dykes 

a Dunstan, Rep. Geol. Surv. Queensland, No. 203, 1906, p. 12. 


occurs along the zone of reefs, but has no connection whatever with 
ore-deposition, since the intrusion is obviously subsequent to vein- 
filline," and indeed cuts the veins. Later faults are abundant 
and have disturbed the reefs greatly. Veins occur both in the 
granites and in the felsites. In the former they lie in 
" formations," or zones of disturbed and altered country 
characterised by the presence of abundant graphite. The 
value of the Croydon bullion is very low, being a little over 2 per 
ounce. The reefs in the felsites are of comparative unimportance. 
Their bullion is, however, of much higher grade, being worth 
perhaps 3. 4s. per ounce. 

The principal reefs are the Golden Gate, True Blue, Highland 
Mary, &c. These are dispersed along a narrow zone running north- 
west and south-east for more than four miles. The pay-ore occurs 
in rich well-defined " shoots." The gangue is quartz, which 
is, in the case of the Golden Gate reef, of three kinds, 
and has been formed at two distinct periods. These varieties 
of quartz are locally called "gold stone," "poor stone," and 
" buck." The " buck " is barren and occasionally carries pyrite, 
while the " poor stone " also has pyrite and differs from the " gold 
stone ' : only in the absence of galena and gold, the galena in 
rich stone being invariably finely divided and always accom- 
panying the gold. An excess of galena indicates rich gold-quartz. 

The Golden Gate reef is very flat, dipping east-north-east at 
18. It has been worked to a depth of 1,600 feet (Golden Gate 
Consols Shaft). 

Since its discovery in 1886 the Croydon field has yielded to 
the end of 1907 a total weight of 704,828 ounces fine gold. 

Ethcridgc The Etheridge goldfield is situated on the same 
granite massif as the Croydon field, but is about 100 miles further 
east-south-east. The oldest rocks of the district are sharply folded 
slates, schists, sandstones, and quart zites. These are intruded by 
diorites that have generally been forced along the bedding planes. 
The folded sedimentaries are intruded over large areas by granitic 
dykes and stocks that in some cases occur in so great an abundance 
as almost to obliterate the characters of the original sedimentaries ; 
more especially is this the case when the granite apophyses occur 
in well-bedded rocks. Euritic dykes, intrusive into the granite, are 
found in some parts of the field. b Sedimentary strata were 
deposited on the metamorphic and igneous rocks during older and 
younger Cretaceous times, the later deposits being the wide-spread 
Desert Sandstone. 

Dunstan, ibid., 1905, p. 11. 

b Cameron, Rep. Geol. Surv. Queensland, No. 151, 1900, p. 2. 


The reefs of the Etheridge lie near the border of the main 
granitic mass, partly indeed in the slates and schists and partly 
in the granite. They are small and refractory, but are of high 
tenor, carrying large quantities of pyrite and galena, with 
occasional blende and chalcopyrite. In general the highly 
pyritous veins have been richer immediately below water-level than 
in the oxidised zone above. Those veins lying within the sedimentary 
rocks at some distance from the granite contain but little sulphide 
mineral. The progress of the field has been greatly hampered by 
the high cost of transport and of supplies, and even more by the 
local difficulties of ore-treatment and by the scarcity of water. 
The principal reefs are the St. George, Cumberland, Durham, and 
Queenslander. Owing to the exceedingly refractory nature of the 
ore, the veins being often solid pyrite and galena below water-level, 
no great depth has been reached by these mines. The total yield 
of the Etheridge fields to the end of 1907 was 494,937 fine ounces. 

Cloncurry. The Cloncurry goldfield in the north-east of 
the State is the only auriferous area not situated on the line of the 
eastern Cordilleran uplift. It is, nevertheless, in the neighbourhood 
of a small granitic outcrop. The veins are of little importance, and 
lie in sandstones and shales. They are highly pyritous. The 
oxidised products at the outcrops of the copper lodes of the district 
occasionally contain free gold. Gold has also been found here 
associated with native bismuth." A considerable amount of 
alluvial gold associated with native bismuth was formerly obtained, 
one such nugget weighing 28 pounds troy. 

Charters Towers. The Charters Towers goldfield has for 
many years been the leading field in Queensland. It lies about 
1,000 feet above sea-level and some 80 miles from its coastal port 
of Townsville. It is probably the most productive of those 
of the world's goldfields, whose veins lie entirely in acid plutonic 
rocks, its yield being a little more than a million sterling per annum. 
Its general geological features are nevertheless much less known 
than those of many a poorer and less accessible field. This ignorance 
arises mainly from the fact that a close geological survey of the 
area can be attempted only with the aid of the microscope in the 
field itself. Charters Towers rocks have a fairly wide range in the 
acidic plutonic group from a granite with little ferro-magnesian 
content to a tonalite (quartz-mica-diorite). The relations of these 
rocks in the field have yet to be worked out in detail. They have, 
however, been indicated in an excellent map based on macroscopic 
characters, and published in 1898 by Messrs. Jack, Rands, and 

a Jack, "Geology of Queensland," Brisbane, 1892, p. 21. 



Maitland, of the Queensland Geological Survey. The map is, 
however, unaccompanied by any written description, and so loses 
much of its value. Some little space will, therefore, be given in 
this place to a description of the petrological characters of these 
rocks, from specimens collected on the field. The grey granites 
show numerous quartzes crowded with fluid-inclusions. Felspars 
are, as a rule, somewhat kaolinized, but are orthoclase, microcline, 
and some twinned plagioclase felspar. The ferro-magnesian silicate 
is normally a grass-green hornblende. Epidote and apatite are 
accessory minerals. The tonalites, on the other hand, contain little 
interstitial quartz with enclosures of hornblende, magnetite, and 

Fig. 103. Geological Sketch Map of Charters Towers Goldfield (Jack, Rands, and Maitland)- 

1. Slates, quartzites, and limestones of undetermined age. 2. Granite and tonalite with coarse porphyry. 

3. Quartz-schists. 4. Diorite (basic). 5. Serpentine (?). 6. Recent superficial deposits. 

zoisite. Their felspars are nearly all striped, but all are 
much saussuritized. The majority show idiomorphic outlines, 
and many are well and strongly zoned with a saussurite core. 
So far as it may be made out, the extinction angle of the 
felspar is 20 to 25, and hence is fairly close to that of 
andesine. A little clear orthoclase occurs moulded on the 
plagioclase. Brown and green ragged boitite-mica is abundant, 
and generally contains " eyes " of epidote. Hornblende occurs in 
small grains, but is not abundant. Epidote is present both as 



a rock-forming mineral and in the saussurite product. Zoisite 
occurs in the interstitial quartz. Chlorite, obviously resulting from 
the decomposition of the hornblende, is present in some quantity. 
The rock may, therefore, be regarded as a typical tonalite. The 
author is indebted to the courtesy of Mr. W. A. MacLeod, of Charters 
Towers, for the following partial analysis of this rock : a 

& Fe.,0. 


ai 2 o : . 


k. 2 o .. 

CaO . . 
MgO .. 

Loss on ignition 









A third type of rock represented in the writer's collection is a 
light-grey rock showing very little ferro-magnesian silicate. Under 
the microscope the ground mass of the rock shows as a fine-granular 
aggregate of quartz and clear felspars. The section contains 
numerous rounded but almost idiomorphic quartzes. Other 
phenocrysts are orthoclase in small quantity and plagioclase com- 
pletely saussuritized. Epidote is very abundant. On the whole, 
the rock may be most conveniently described as a quartz-porphyry. 
The petrology of this field certainly promises to throw considerable 
light on the problems of auriferous deposition, and further work 
on it is greatly to be desired. 

A short distance to the north-east and also to the north-west 
of the main auriferous area the granitoid rocks, as at Ravenswood, 
a neighbouring field to be described later, are associated with 
highly indurated slates and quartzites of undetermined age, but 
through which the granites and tonalites appear to be intrusive. 
The auriferous country generally is intersected by numerous dioritic 
dykes that are apparently older than the vein fissures, for the 
latter fault the former. Many of the richest deposits were in former 
days found at the intersection of the veins with the dioritic dykes, 
especially when brecciated fragments of the dyke were scattered 
through the veinstone. This type of enriched matrix appears to 
have furnished the largest pay-shoot yet discovered on the Charters 
Towers field, viz., one that passed from the upper levels of the 
Day Dawn and Day Dawn Block and Wyndham mines into the lower 
levels of the Mills United mine.^ The country included within the 
lode under these circumstances showed values equal to that of 
the true vein-quartz. 

a MacLeod, in lift. 

b Paull, Trans. Aust. Inst. M.E., III, 1895, p. 244. 


The average width of the main reefs of the field the Brilliant 
and the Day Dawn may be taken as 3 feet. Its gangue, as already 
stated, is quartz and decomposed granitoid country. The Brilliant 
section of the reef channel has been the most productive. It was, in 
1908, being worked below 2,700 feet (Brilliant Extended Company). 
It has generally been supposed that the Brilliant and Day Dawn 
sections were portions of a single continuous lode, but it is now 
certain that the Day Dawn is a separate lode and lies to the east 
of the Brilliant. The lode-channel consists rather of a chain of 
ore-bodies than a continuous vein. The ore-bodies are seldom 
more than 6 feet in width. The richer pay-shoots carry from 1 to 
2 ounces per ton, but the average value of the ore is very much less, 
and is probably below 15 dwts. per ton. The gangue contains about 
7 per cent, of sulphides (pyrite, galena, blende, pyrrhotite, and a 
little arsenical pyrites). Free gold is rarely seen in depth. Higher 
values in the sulphide zone are generally indicated by galena. 
The oxidised zone reached a depth of between 200 and 300 feet. 

The total yield of the Charters Towers district (which, besides 
Charters Towers itself, includes the long-abandoned Cape River 
goldfield) from the discovery of gold to the end of 1907 was 
5,647,938 ounces fine gold worth nearly 25,000,000 sterling. In 
recent years, and indeed until the rise of the Kalgoorlie field in 
Western Australia, the Charters Towers field held the premier 
position among Australian goldfields. 

Ravens wood. The Ravenswood gold-quartz veins, discovered 
in 1868, furnished the first of the important goldfields of Queensland, 
yielding both rich placer gold and rich vein-quartz in the oxidised 
zone. Their yield to end of 1907 has been 693,206 fine ounces gold 
worth nearly 2,950,000. The auriferous veins are contained within 
basic granitite (biotite -granite) and hornblende-granite containing 
subordinate orthoclase. With them are associated quartz-porpyhries, 
quartz-felsites, and granophyres. Numerous felsite dykes traverse 
the granite. These granites are probably younger than a series 
of grauwackes and slaty shales that are developed in the neighbour- 
hood. The veins carry a quartz-filling, and the gold, below the 
oxidised zone (here 70 feet in depth), is always associated with 
galena, arsenopyrite, chalcopyrite, bismuthinite, and blende. The 
reefs are small, from 8 inches to 2 feet in width, but are of 
high tenor. The ore is refractory. On all the reefs in this 
field the pyrites-zone when first struck in sinking was much 
richer than the " brownstone v above, indicating therefore, 
a general secondary downward enrichment. a The Donnybrook 

a Maclaren, Hep. Geol. Surv. Queens., No. 152, 1900 ; Cameron, ib., No. 183, 


veins, a few miles south-east of Ravenswood, lie in the metamor- 
phosed rocks very close to the granite boundary and dip with 
the strata. These veins are small and erratic, and, when in the 
metamorphosed sedimentary rocks, contain, as on the Etheridge 
goldfield, more free-milling gold and less sulphide-ore than those 
in the adjacent granite. 

Minor Central Fields. Of minor importance is the 
Normanby goldfield, lying 40 miles south of Bowen in soft decom- 
posed granite, that in places passes almost to a hornblende gneiss. 
According to Jack a the veins are in a porphyry-rock made up of 
quartz, a little black mica, and tourmaline crystals,well impregnated 
with pyrite. Of similar character is the rock of the Eungella gold 
occurrences, lying a little further south. The reefs of the Mount 
Nebo goldfield next to the south occur partly in diorite and partly 
in grey and black shales and sandstones of the Gympie Series 
(Carboniferous). The igneous rocks appear to be partly inter- 
bedded and partly intrusive. 

Mount Morgan. The Mount Morgan has been one of the 
most productive of modern gold mines. It is an isolated mine 
lying 26 miles south-west of Rockhampton on the Fitzroy river and 
just within the Tropic of Capricorn. It was discovered in 1886 
and carried extraordinarily rich outcrop-stone. The name is 
somewhat of a misnomer since the so-called mount was originally 
only 500 feet above stream-level and 1,225 feet above sea-level. 

Granite rock is extensively developed in the district, the 
auriferous area lying between two large outcrops of the charac- 
teristic granite of the Australian Cordillera. Hornblende is the pre- 
dominant mineral, but the rock varies greatly in character, often 
ranging from a normal granite to syenite, and even to an aplitic 
rock or to a quartz-felspar-porphyry. The auriferous deposits 
themselves lie within Gympie (Carboniferous) rocks. These are 
quartzites, conglomerates, grauwackes, shales, slates, serpentines, 
and limestones. All are more or less altered and metamorphosed. 
No traces of granite fragments are found in these sedimentary beds 
and the assumption therefore is that the age of the granite intrusion 
is at least more recent than Lower Permo-Carboniferous. The 
metamorphism of the Permo-Carboniferous beds further points 
to the same conclusion. Vertical basic dykes, apparently of 
dolerites, are intrusive through the Gympie Series in the neighbour- 
hood of the ore-deposits. These are older than the " Desert 
Sandstone " that occurs in the neighbourhood, and are probably 
later than and have no genetic connection with the ore-deposition. 

a "Geology of Queensland," p. 30. 



The basic dykes are generally hole-crystalline, with plagioclase, 
augite, and olivine, but vary widely in texture and character. 
Four principal dykes occur in the ore-body. These are the two 
parallel doleritic north and south dykes, each about 20 feet wide 
and separated by a distance of some 500 feet ; the north and 
south andesite dyke, about 18 feet in width; and the east and 
west dolerite dyke. The whole of the copper-gold ores of Mount 
Morgan lie to the west of the andesite dyke, though gold values 
are obtained on both sides of it. In addition to the foregoing 

Fig. 104. Geological Sketch Map of the Vicinity of Mount Morgan {Jack}. 

1. Granite, granodiorite, and syenite. 2. Gympie (Carboniferous) quartzites, slates, schists and 
limestones. 3. Desert sandstones (Upper Cretaceous). 

the ore-body is intersected by numerous small dykes, striking 
all directions, and ranging up to 5 feet in thickness." 


The Desert Sandstone (Upper Cretaceous) shows in the neighbour- 
hood only as the remnants of a former wide-spread tableland. 
Its basement beds are auriferous, 6 with gold obviously derived 
from the neighbouring Mount Morgan lodes. Thus a superior 

a Wilson, Queensland Govt. Min. Jour., Sept. 15, 190S. 
b Jack/Rep. Geol. Surv. Queens., No. 132, 1898, p. 20. 



limit to the age of Mount Morgan auriferous deposits is furnished. 
Mount Morgan is by far the most productive mine, both in gold 
and in copper, in Queensland. The total value of both metals 
produced in 1907 being 1,000,124, of which 619,208 was due to 
gold and 385,705 was the value of copper. The copper ore is 
obtained from the 750-foot level, but occurs for some 500 feet 
above that level, the oxidised zone persisting for 250 feet below 
the original summit of the hill. 

The Mount Morgan field has, since its discovery in 1886, 
produced in fine ounces (of which all but a few hundred ounces 
per annum must be credited to the Mount Morgan mine itself) as 
follows : 


Fine Ounces. 


Fine Ounces. 














































..Fineozs. 3,119,589 
. . Crude ozs. 3,230,569 
Value about 13.251,750 

During 1906 the copper production of the mine was 2,567 tons, 
and during 1907, 4,713 tons. The copper yield will probably 
increase in future years. To the end of 1907 the mine had paid in 
dividends some 7,062,020. 

The ore of Mount Morgan varies greatly in character. Siliceous 
haematite, a bluish-grey quartz, a rock simulating pumiceous 
sinter, and a certain quantity of kaolinic matter, all have been 
found at the outcrop. As the sulphide zone is reached, pyrite, 
and still further in depth, chalcopyrite together with pyrite, is 
met with. The original surface of the mountain was lateritic in 
appearance, and carried spheroids of limonite, that in cavities 
became quite stalactitic. In places the surface rock was stained 
black with manganese oxides. The large quantity of kaolinic matter 
found at the surface was derived partly from the felspars in the 
grauwackes and partly from the decomposition of the basic dykes 
that traverse the mountain. The cellular siliceous ore covered on 
the surface about 2| acres in extent. It was everywhere at least 


60 feet in depth, and reached a maximum depth from the surface 
of 160 feet. Nevertheless, nodules of unweathered and unaltered 
siliceous rock full of pyrite were encountered at the surface. The 
depth of the oxidation zone from the surface varied between 
considerable limits from 180 to 300 feet. Free and visible gold 
was encountered in considerable quantities at the outcrop, but is 
unknown in depth. This secondary surface ore often yielded 
several hundreds of ounces per ton, and some blocks of the limonite 
indeed reached tenors of 800 ounces per ton. a The outcrop gold 
was exceptionally high in grade, thousands of ounces running 
997 and 998 fine. The siliceous and kaolinic ores beneath the 
outcrop, but still within the oxidised zone, contained as much as 
43 per cent, silver. In depth the ore carries from 2\ to 3 per cent, 
copper and from \\ to 8 dwts. gold per ton. Stains of copper were 
at times noticeable in the outcrop ore. There may thus in Mount 
Morgan be made out four fairly distinct zones in the vertical 
distribution of the gold content, viz. : (a) a rich surface zone with 
free gold ; (b) a poor oxidised zone of cellular quartz ; (c) an enriched 
sulphide (pyrite) zone ; and (d) a leaner pyrite-chalcopyrite zone. 

Various hypotheses have from time to time been held as to the 
origin of this remarkable deposit. Dr. R. L. Jack, in various 
reports made when little information was available as to 
character of the ore at the lower levels, advanced a geyser 
theory of origin. This view he has largely modified as a 
result of the examination of deeper workings, and in his last 
report on the subject says : b " Consequently a period of time has 
elapsed since the- formation of the surface ores, long enough to 
render it almost inconceivable that any deposit of a ' thermal 
spring in the open air ' could have remained undenuded." The 
short examination of the Mount Morgan deposit, made by the 
present writer in 1901, brought him to the conclusion that the 
occurrence was to be best explained by the operation of siliceous 
and auriferous pyritous solutions on, with minor metasomatic 
replacement in, a sandstone or grauwacke, the impregnation and 
replacement taking place mainly in a thoroughly shattered zone. 
The cellular surface rocks then visible were apparently merely 
the weathering products of an impregnated, by no means clean, 
sandstone, or, much more probably, a grauwacke. The cavities 
were certainly such as would have been left by the removal of pyrite 
and by the decomposition of felspar. Thus also were formed the 
abundant iron oxides and the kaolin that were found at the surface. 
The free gold also was readily explainable, on the assumption of 

a Dunn, loc. cit. inf., p. 350. 

h Jack, Rep. Geol. Surv. Queens., No. 132, 1S9S, p. 20. 

Pint,. XII. 

Mount Morgan, Queensland. 

Open-cut, Grasstree Level, Mount Morgan. 


liberation from the auriferous pyrite and chalcopyrite. It is worthy 
of note that comparatively little trace was shown in the outcrop 
ores of the great copper content now known to exist in depth. 
By virtue of its siliceous impregnation and of its consequently 
superior powers of resistance to denudation, the ore-mass was 
differentiated from the adjacent country, and when discovered 
stood forth as a hill. The period of impregnation was connected 
with the acid rocks rather than with the dolerites. This theory of 
origin, it will be obvious, is essentially that suggested 10 years 
before for the deposit by Rickard and by Wilkinson/' 

A recent geological report on Mount Morgan is that by Dunn. /; 
This, though published only in 1905, was, however, written many 
years before, when the geological structure of the Mount was but 
imperfectly understood. While it has apparently not been modified 
in view of later developments, the development of the enriched 
surface zone and its relations to the sulphide bodies are nevertheless 
clearly set forth, although, at the same time, the impoverishment 
of the lower portion of the oxidised zone and the enrichment of the 
upper zone is held to be due to the action of sea water/ 

Southern Fields. The Lower Permo-Carboniferous gold- 
fields of Queensland include the Gympie, Mount Shamrock, Calliope, 
Crocodile (in part), Yatton, Hodgkinson, Palmer, Nebo (Mount 
Britton), and others of minor importance. d W r ith these the present 
author would, for reasons that have already been advanced, also 
include the famous Mount Morgan mine. All, or nearly all, are 
intruded by dioritic dykes. 

Gympie. The Gympie area, which has given its name to the 
formation, may be taken as the typical goldfield. Its veins lie in 
sedimentary rocks -grauwackes, altered sandstones, grey and 
dark-coloured carbonaceous shales, grits, conglomerates, limestones, 
and breccias. Amygdaloidal dolerites, tuffs, and andesites (the 
Gympie : ' greenstone ") are found interbedded with the above, 
while through them are intruded much altered diorite and augite- 
andesite. From the present point of view, the important beds are the 
four so-called " slates," since it is only in or near them that the 
gold-veins are productive. The three upper beds are dark fine- 
grained shales and argillaceous sandstones containing graphite 
and calcite. The lowest bed is a fine-grained grauwacke. The 
upper three are 100 to 130 feet apart, while the lowest is 400 feet 

a Rickard T. A., Trans. Amer. Inst. M.E., XX, 1891, p. 133; Wilkinson, C. S., 
Rec. Geol. Surv. N.S.W., II, 1891, p. 86. j 

b Proc. Roy. Soc. Vict,, XVII, 1905, p/341. 

c Loc. cit., p. 354. 

d Jack, " Geology of Queensland," 1892, p. 76 et seq. 



below the third. Shales in the immediate vicinity are fossiliferous, 
containing Fenestella, Spirifera, Productus cora, Pleurotomaria 
carinata, and Orthoceras striatum. The total thickness of the series 
is more than 2,000 feet. 

The auriferous reefs strike north and south with the country, 
but dip east at right angles to the strata, thus crossing all the beds 
of the series. It is, however, only where they intersect the above- 
mentioned " slate " beds that they are auriferous. So well recognised 
is the connection between the deposition of gold and the intersection 
of quartz-veins that it governs the course of mining operations on 
the field, and instead of following down the veins by vertical or 
underlie shafts, as would ordinarily be the case, a vertical shaft is 

Fig. 106. Part of Section across Gympie Gold field {Rands). 

a, d, g, I, p, s. Conglomerates. b, e, k, o. Sandstones. c, /, i. Shale3. h. Phoenix or Upper Shales. 

n. " First Bed of Slate." r. " Second Bed of Slate." j. Angular grit (volcanic ash). 

m. Green crystalline rocks, q. Altered grey-wacke. t. Diabase-porphyry, u. Hard, crystalline greenstone. 

v. Green and purple chloritic rock. 

sunk through the vein or through the carbonaceous bed and a cross- 
cut driven west or east respectively to the calculated horizon of inter- 
section of vein and " slate." The veins are often intersected by 
strike faults dipping with the country. When these contain abun- 
dant graphite, they are known as "plumbago floors," and are a source 
of much local enrichment/ 4 

a Rands, Rep. Geol. Surv. Queens., No. 52, 1889 ; Id., loc. cit., No. 75, 1891 ; Id., 
loc. cit., No. 100, 1894 ; Id., loc. cit., No. 166, 1901. 


Dr. Jack a has recorded a notable fact from the deep workings 
of the Scottish Gympie mine, where a mass of auriferous quartz - 
veins traversing an ' intrusive andesite ' has been discovered. 
In the andesjte were also " floors " of graphite and small masses 
of slate. The andesite occupies a horizon between the top and 
bottom of the Gympie slates. Occasionally where the andesites 
have come into contact with the above-mentioned " plumbago 
floors," they suffer the same alteration to white rock that is observed 
in basaltic or doleritic dykes intrusive through coal seams. 

Calcite occurs as a secondary matrix in the Gympie veins. 
The associates of the gold are pyrite, marcasite, mispickel, galena, 
sphalerite, chalcopyrite, tetrahedrite, stibnite, native arsenic, and 
tellurides of gold and silver forming an entirely characteristic 
andesitic assemblage. The sulphides are, however, rarely auriferous. 
The tellurides noted are hessite and altaite, and occur very 
sparingly embedded in a calcite matrix. b 

The Gympie field to the end of 1907 has produced 2,374,353 
ounces fine gold worth 10,086,041. In 1906 the yield was 108,053 
ounces gold worth 458,675, from 215,680 tons quartz. Dividends 
paid amounted to 177,554 ; more than half the above yield was 
produced by two mines, the Scottish Gympie and the No. 2 South 
Great Eastern. In 1907 both yield and dividends decreased 

Minor Southern Fields. Minor goldfields in Southern 
Queensland are Eidsvold, north-west of Gympie, lying in granite 
and diorite not greatly differing from those of the Charters Towers 
field. The reefs are quartzose, and carry pyrite, galena, and arseno- 
pyrite. At Peak Downs an auriferous conglomerate is associated with 
Glossopteris flora, and is therefore of Permo-Carboniferous or later 
age. The auriferous portion of the conglomerate is said to contain 
5 to 6 dwts. per ton. At Kilkivan the gold is associated with 
antimony, and at Mount Biggenden with bismuth. The last- 
named deposit is remarkable. It is an irregular mass of magnetite 
bounded on the north by slate and on the south by limestone. 

Dredging, hitherto quite unsuccessful in Queensland, is still 
being carried on at Cania, an old placer field. The famous " deep 
leads " of the southern colonies are unknown in Queensland, whose 
yield of alluvial gold amounts to only about 12,000 crude ounces 
annually, by far the greater part of which (7,343 ounces in 1906) is 
produced from the Clermont field. 

a Queensland Govt. Mining Journal, Jan. 14, 1905. 

Dunstan, Ree. No. 2, Geol. Surv. Queensland, No. 19G. 

c Rands, Rep. Geol. Surv. Queensland, No. 60, 1890. 



The total gold yield of Queensland is shown in the subjoined 
table : 


Fine Ounces. 


Fine Ounces. 


Fine Ounces. 

end of 1877 
































































Total value of gold won to end of 1907 

. 66,314.528 


The majority of the auriferous areas of New South Wales are 
closely connected with the granitic masses of Permo -Carboni- 
ferous age, that form the core, not only of the chief mountain chain 
of New South Wales, but also, as we have already seen, of that of 
Queensland. The gold- veins may exist in the granite, or in its 
felsite or porphyrite apophyses (as in North Queensland), or even 
in dioritic rocks, or they may occur (as in Victoria) in adjacent 
Devonian or Silurian rocks. 

The earliest recorded discovery of gold in Australia was made 
at the Fish river, Bathurst, New South Wales, in 1823, by a sur- 
veyor named O'Brien. There is, however, room for doubt, in this 
case, whether the particles recorded as gold by that observer were 
really so, or were mica or pyrite. In 1839, Count Strzelecki, of 
whose mineralogical knowledge there is no question, found auriferous 
pyrite in the Vale of Clwydd. Two years later native gold was 
recognized by the Rev. W. B. Clarke in granites and quartziferous 
slates occurring west of Hartley. Owing, however, to the fears 
entertained by the authorities of the unsettling effect of gold- 
seeking on the progress of the colony, both these geologists were 
induced for a time to keep secret their discoveries. 

It was not until 1851 that E. H. Hargraves, who had then just 
returned from the great Calif ornian diggings, demonstrated the 
existence of gold in payable quantities in the neighbourhood 
of Bathurst. Within a fortnight of the public announcement, 
made in May of 1851, more than 1,000 men were at work 
in the vicinity of Hargraves' find. The discovery had the natural 


effect of encouraging wide-spread prospecting, and by the end of 
that year the great alluvial goldfields, not only of New South Wales, 
but also of Victoria, were fairly well known. 

Gold is widely distributed in New South Wales, occurring 
in reefs and lodes intersecting the Silurian, Devonian, and 
Carboniferous rocks ; it has also been successfully worked 
in the ancient Permo-Carboniferous conglomerates of Tallawang, 
near Mudgee, where nuggets weighing as much as 5 ounces 
were obtained. Auriferous alluvial deep leads of Cretaceous 
age are recorded from Mount Brown, in the far north-west, 
while those of Tertiary and recent ages are widely known and have 
long been worked. They formed, indeed, the earliest source of the 
gold won in the state. The majority of the goldfields of New South 
Wales occur along a broad, not very well-defined belt in the high land 
in the eastern portion of the state, but rich fields nevertheless occur 
as far west as Cobar and Wyalong, and a minor occurrence is known 
in the far north-west of the state at Tibbooburra, where the gold lies 
in veins that traverse the eroded Palaeozoic rocks where these are 
intruded by basic or other dykes. Veins also occur within the igneous 
rocks themselves/* 

Pittman divides the alluvial gold deposits of New South Wales 
into : 

(a) Recent and Pleistocene alluvials. 

(b) Beach sands along the sea-coast. 

(c) Tertiary alluvial leads. 

(d) Cretaceous alluvial leads. 

(e) Permo-Carboniferous conglomerates. 

The marine beach sands are best developed near the mouth 
of the Richmond river in the north of the state, where black sands, 
made up largely of zircon, ilmenite, garnet, and quartz, contain 
fine grains of gold, platinum, and cassiterite. They are, as on the 
coast of north-west America and of the south-western part of 
New Zealand, reinforced in bulk and in value after storms. They 
have been worked intermittently since 1870. Raised beaches 
containing black-sand seams with gold have also been worked. 
The gold, both the younger and older deposits, is, of course, in a 
state of extremely fine division. In the raised beach deposit the 
sand is so far cemented as to require rough crushing. McAuley's 
lead is the only one that has up to the present proved payable. 
Pittman notes that although the beach sands have been tested 

a Pittman, " Mineral Res. New South Wales," Geol. Surv. N.S.W., 1901, p. 6, from 
whence many of the following details have been derived. 



along some hundreds of miles of coast line, it is only in the immediate 
neighbourhood of basalt that they have been of economic value. 
The Tertiary alluvial leads are the remnants of ancient auriferous 
river-gravels that have, from a variety of causes, been preserved 
to the present day. They represent mainly Pliocene gravels and. 
as might be expected, show considerable deviation in their course 
from the direction of existing valley systems. In many cases the 
Pliocene gravels owe their preservation to having been buried 
beneath a considerable thickness of basaltic lava that, by covering 
up the valleys with their contained gravels, reduced to a great extent 
the then existing inequalities in the surface. Such buried auriferous 
gravels, as well as those formed by depression of the valley bottoms 
below base-level, are termed deep leads. Some of these were 
extremely rich. It is recorded that from an area of 40 by 40 feet 
in the North Lachlan goldfield near Forbes, no less than 1,900 
ounces gold were obtained. Gold occurs in Tertiary leads (as 
also in the Recent and Pleistocene deposits) at the Rocky 
River goldfield near Uralla, and also at Gulgong, from 
whence in five years (1871-1875) 1,850,000 were obtained. 

M* Brown 

Bill.ygoat # Hill 
Desert Sandstone 

Fig. 107. Auriferous Lead Overlain by Desert Sandstone, Mount Brown (Piltman). 

Often at Gulgong the average gold content of the " wash-dirt " 
was an ounce per load. The lead's in the neighbourhood 
of Gulgong are numerous. For these an average width of 300 feet 
of gravel with a depth of 1 to 1| feet of pay-dirt may be taken. 
They have for the most part been abandoned on account of the 
great difficulties of working due to inflow of water, difficulties 
that became insuperable when accompanied by increasing poverty 
of the gravels. Similar auriferous alluvial leads occur at Adelong, 
Albury, Braidwood, Grenfell, Gundagai, Rockley, Temora, Tumbe- 
rumba, &c. Some of the famous Victorian deep leads, as those of 
the Chiltern Valley, near Corowa, are believed to pass into 
Southern New South Wales. 

Cretaceous alluvial leads or buried channels occur in the north- 
western corner of the state at Mount Brown, south of Milparinka. 


They dip, as will be seen from the accompanying section, 
beneath the Upper Cretaceous Desert Sandstone. Very rich gold 
was obtained from the lead, including one nugget of 25 ounces in 
weight. Similar Cretaceous leads occur at Tibbooburra, 25 miles 
further north, where granite and Silurian slates are almost hidden 
beneath the Desert Sandstone. Here also the auriferous leads 
dip beneath the Desert Sandstone. The gravels have yielded nuggets 
weighing 15 to 20 ounces. Another occurrence of much the same 
age and nature occurs at the Peak between Milparinka and 

The largest nugget ever found in New South Wales weighed 
1,286 ounces 8 dwts., and was found in recent gravels at Burrandong 
near Orange." Perhaps the most interesting occurrence of gold 
in the State from a geological point of view is that at Tallawang, 
about five miles to the north of Gulgong, where conglomerates, 
undoubtedly to be relegated to a position at the base of the 
Upper Coal measures, and therefore Permo-Carboniferous in age, 
were, in 1875, successfully worked for gold. The occurrence is of 
no great extent. Nuggets up to 5 ounces in weight were taken 
from it, and yields of from 1 to 15 dwts. per ton. On 
referring to Wilkinson's original note^ there appears to be 
no doubt of the placer origin of the gold. These conglomerates 
are, however, not definitely Carboniferous, as stated by him, but 
rather Permo-Carboniferous, since they are associated with the 
Glossopteris flora of the Eastern Australian Coal Measures. The 
conglomerate has been worked principally at Clough's Gully. 
Several hundred tons of the cement were crushed, but the deposit 
was found to be very irregular in tenor. The gold was coarse, 
remarkably scaly, and water-worn. This is the only known 
occurrence of payable alluvial gold in these measures, though 
traces of gold had formerly been found in the same series 
by the Rev. W. B. Clarke. In the Gulgong field the 
original source of the alluvial gold has obviously been the 
veins developed, as the field evidence shows, by the intrusion 
of diorites or granitic intrusions through the Upper Silurian rocks. 
There is thus apparently fixed a superior limit to the age of the 
New South Wales gold- veins. The so-called Carboniferous occur- 
rence at the Peak Downs in Queensland is also Permo-Carboniferous, 
for the cement beds there worked, as first described by Daintree, 
are associated with the typical Glossopteris flora. 

a For a complete bibliography of New South Wales gold occurrences to 1900, v. 
Dun, Rec. Geol. Surv. N.S.W., VI, 1900, p. 187. < 

b Wilkinson, C. S., Ann. Rep. Dep. Mines, N.S.W., 1876, p. 173. 



The Kiandra Deep Leads are described by Andrews/' 
They were discovered in 1859, but only the richer shallow alluvials 
were then worked. The township of Kiandra lies about 4,600 feet 
aboveT sea-level, and is subject in winter to heavy snowfalls, a 

Section of Working Face New Chum Hill 

(a t TinSO* a^D wincklER S Claim 



Columnar basalt 
Earthy lignite altered by basalt- 
Yellow clay 
Red and yellow sand 

/ _r_-_ _ _ _ _ _ _ - _~_~_~ - -~ ~~ - Red and yellow clay 

Lignite containing tree stems 
Red and yellow clay 

Coarse red and 
yellow sand layers 



Red and yellow clay 

Lignite and black shales 
containing numerous 
plant remains 

Earthy lignite 


* &: : 'j'-'-L^^ 

Auriferous wash 

Slates, claysfones. and tufts 

Syemtic 'dykes 

Fig. 108. Vertical Section through Deep Lead, Kiandra (Andrews.) 

feature unique in Australia. Two well-defined leads occur. Both 
are capped by basalt. The auriferous wash is not confined to a narrow 
gutter, but is distributed over an uneven bed, varying from 50 to 
100 yards in width. 

a N.S.W. Geol. Surv., Min. Resources, No. 10, 1901. 



Dredging both for gold and for tin has been practised in New 
South Wales for some years. To the end of 1906 this method of gold 
recovery had produced the following quantities of gold: a 


Crude Ounces. 























Total . . 



The chief dredging area is the Araluen division, furnishing 
more than one-third of the total for 1906. The average yield over 
a quantity of 3,425,000 cubic yards in this division was 1 -96 grains 
per cubic yard. In the Stuart Town Division (on the Macquarrie 
river) 1,002,900 yards were treated for an average return of 6-47d. 
per cubic yard, the total value of the gold obtained being 27,044. 
The Sofala district on the Turon river, a tributary of the Macquarrie, 
yielded 12,430. Other areas of lesser importance are being dredged 
on various rivers in the state, generally with profit. For the whole 
state in 1906, 22 bucket-dredges recovered 27,643 ounces gold 
from 5,992,980 cubic yards material, or 4-33 grains per cubic yard. 
Seven centrifugal pump dredges treated 1,026,550 cubic yards for 
a return of 8,345 ounces or 7 32d. per cubic yard. 

Turning now to the primary occurrences, the auriferous veins 
of New South Wales occur in Silurian and Carboniferous rocks, or 
are associated with granodioritic outbursts of probable Permo- 
Carboniferous age. The gangue is generally quartz ; but calcite, 
barytes, and fluorite are occasionally met with. Enormous masses 
of vein-gold have been found and, of these, that taken in 
1872 from Beyer and Holtermann's claim at Hill End is probably 
the largest mass of solid vein-gold recorded. It weighed 630 pounds 
and was valued at 12,000. 

Hillgrove. There are several gold-occurrences on the 
eastern escarpment of the pastoral upland New England country, 
in the north-east of New South Wales. The chief of these is at 
Hillgrove, on Baker's Creek, about 20 miles west of Armidale. 

Its mines are situated on the eastern edge of the main 
plateau, where it is intersected by deep steep-sided (32 slope) 
ravines, 1,400 to 1,500 feet deep. The oldest rocks on the 

a Rep. Mines Dep., N.S.W., 1906, p. 24. 



field are altered slates, schists, and quartzites, often much 
contorted." The slates pass insensibly into a knotted schist. 
The sedimentary rocks carry the auriferous lodes. The eruptive 
rocks are basic granites, or rather, granitites approaching 
very closely in character to quartz-mica-diorites, /j and are divided 
into four groups in point of apparent age. The first two and the 
older are unimportant in extent and in economic relations, but the 
third is largely developed, and to it is to be ascribed the genesis 
of the antimony and gold lodes. The last granitic intrusion is a 
fine-grained rock that has sent out into the slates numerous felsite 

Fig. 109. Geological Sketch Map of Hillgrove Goldfield {Andrews). 

1. Carboniferous slates, quartzites, and schists. 2. Fine-grained granite. 

3. Coarse-grained granite (Carboniferous ?). 4. Tertiary gravel. 

5. Tertiary basalt, overlying gravels. 6. Felspar-porphyry and felsite dykes. 

dykes. The main or third granite mass is traversed by some of 
the lodes that are continued into it from the slates, but the last 
and finest granite cuts off these lodes and is therefore younger in 
age. The granitic massif developed at Hillgrove forms also the core 
of the New England ranges. It is Carboniferous or Permo-Carboni- 
ferous in age. The whole district was covered by the great Tertiary 
basaltic lava flows of the New England region, that filled up the 
older valleys. The present minor valley system is, therefore, 
Pliocene and Post-Pliocene. 

The slates of Hillgrove have been subjected to great strain 
and are notorious among miners throughout Australia for their 

a Andrews, Min. Res.' No. 8, Geol. Surv. N.S.W., 1900, p. 14. 
6 Loc. cit., p. 23. 



" kicking " propensities, huge masses of rock flaking off the walls 
of the workings with explosive violence. In this respect the 
explosions are comparable only to the great " air-blasts " of 
the hornblende-schist of the Champion Reef on the Kolar field in 
Southern India. 

The lodes of the district were originally worked in 1877-8 for 
their antimony content alone. A considerable amount of this 

North A_ 

?. South 

Longitudinal Section 


Transverse Sections 

Illustrates how the reet 
may occur below and yet 
not outcrop at the surface 

Actual Section through Actual Section througli 
North Shaft Main Shaft 

intermediate level \ \\\ 

Section through No. 1 Winze N. 

Showing bottom of Saddle Reef 


Figs. 110-116. Plan and Sections of the Mount Boppy Syncijne (Jaquet). 

metal is still produced. The presence of gold in the veins was not 
suspected until 1881, but for various reasons, it was not until six 
years later that the richer gold-lodes of Hillgrove were opened up. 
The Big and Little Reefs, among the earliest auriferous lodes 
discovered, yielded exceedingly rich outcrop-ore. 



The veins or reefs of Hillgrove carry a well-defined quartz- 
filling that may, however, be prolonged by zones of barren, crushed, 
and brecciated country, containing but little quartz. Slickensides 
and flucans are abundant. Scheelite, associated with stibnite, is 
found in sufficiently large quantites to be of economic value. The 
matrix of the gold is generally quartz, but stibnite is nearly always 
present in great quantity. In depth, arsenical pyrites is also found. 
The reefs average from 12 to 18 inches in thickness, and may reach, 
as in the case of the Big Reef, a thickness of 4 feet. The 
Eleanora reef is the largest in the district, averaging 6 feet 
in width. It accompanies an intrusive dyke, on both sides of 
which it forms quartz. The amount of gold recovered on treatment 
of the ore is about 9 dvvts. gold per ton, but the presence of 
stibnite is prejudicial to amalgamation and considerable quantities 
are left behind in the tailings. 

Mount Boppy. The Mount Boppy goldfield is situated on the 
western plains of central New South Wales, 25 miles from the Cobar 
copper field. Its chief producer is the Mount Boppy mine, from 
1905 to 1908 also the principal gold-producing mine in the state. 
The lode was first worked for copper, and gold in quantity was 
discovered only about 1899. The rocks are Silurian slates and 
schists. The reefs lie, according to Jaquet/ 6 at the base of an inclined 
synclinal fold, analogous in most respects to the " saddle reefs ' 
of Bendigo. The synclinal axis pitches southward at high angles. 
The eastern leg is much more strongly developed than the western , 
and forms the main lode. The oxidised ore is composed essentially 
of quartz with iron oxide, and the unoxidised of quartz with 
pyrite, arsenopyrite, galena, and blende. The gold is present 
always in a state of extremely fine division. 

The following table shows the quantity and value of gold 
obtained from this mine : 


Tons of Quartz 

Total Ounces 
of Fine Gold. 

Value, Sterling. 





s. d. 

18,780 19 10 

24,211 2 11 

79,723 16 9 

91,460 3 4 

116,433 19 11 

126,229 4 1 

133,121 4 7 



589,960 11 5 

Rec. Geol. Surv. N.S.W., VIII, 1905, p. 180. 


To the 16th April, 1908, there had been paid in dividends 
262,282. 13s., or a little less than half the value of the total gold 
product. The average tenor of the ore treated had been almost 
exactly 10 dwts. fine gold per ton. 

Cobar. The Mount Drysdale mine, 25 miles north of Cobar, 
also works quartz reefs in Silurian rocks (slates, sandstones, con- 
glomerates, and breccias). The pay-ore hitherto mined occurred 
in a shoot 40 feet long and from 6 inches to 5 feet in width. 

The Cobar district, though primarily a copper district, never- 
theless contributes a considerable quantity of gold to the total 
produce of New South Wales. The mines were opened up in 1876, 
but it was not until 1893-4 that steps were taken to ascertain 
definitely the amount of gold in the copper ingots. Of this amount, 
no account had previously been taken, and the contained gold had 
up to that time been a perquisite of the London buyers of Cobar 
copper. The sulphides of the Cobar mine are pyrrhotite, pyrite, 
and chalcopyrite, with only 16 per cent, silica. They carry from 
1\ to 3 dwts. gold per ton. The country is Devonian or Silurian 
slate and sandstone/* 

Hill End. -The Hill End goldfield, some 30 miles north of 
Bathurst, is situated near the Turon river, the scene of vigorous 
and highly profitable gold-washing in the earlier days of the colony. 
The rocks of the goldfield are dark fissile slates, flinty altered clay- 
stones, and interbedded volcanic tuffs. From fossil evidence the 
series is regarded as Upper Silurian in age. The strata have been 
thrown into anticlinal folds and are intruded by quartz-porphyry 
dykes and sills. The reefs are lenticular and lie either in the black 
slate, or at the contact of slate with the igneous sills, or with the tuffs. 
They are bedded with the country. The richest veins have hitherto 
been found on the eastern side of the anticline. On this side also 
were the Hawkins Hill veins, from whence the already mentioned 
huge gold-quartz nugget was taken by Beyer and Holtermann. 
The richest gold has been obtained at contacts of slate and 
sill. Enrichment generally takes place when the quartz, which 
ordinarily forms the gangue, has been almost entirely replaced 
by a white mica (sericite). The gold hitherto obtained occurred 
in shoots in the veins. On this field, in marked contradistinction 
to many others, it was generally found that shoots were 
developed at corresponding places in all the parallel veins. The 
shoots were worked to depths of 400 to 700 feet.^ A cross-reef 

"Came, Min. Res. No. 6, Rec. Geol. Surv., N.S.W., 1899, p. 106. 
b Pittman, loc. cit., p. 32. 



faulting the above-describecj veins carried in depth rich arsenical 
pyrites with free gold." 

Hargraves. The Hargraves goldfield lies nearly 20 miles to 
the north of Hill End and at an elevation of 3,000 to 4,000 feet 
above sea-level. Its rocks, like those of Hill End, are Upper Silurian 
(or possibly somewhat younger) slates and tuffs intruded by granitic 
dykes and sills. The reefs at Hargraves are saddle-shaped ; are 
developed in the folds of the beds ; lie conformably with the strata ; 
and occur in a series along an anticlinal axis, one beneath another 
at successive depths. They thus resemble in every respect the 
saddle reefs of Bendigo. The Hargraves auriferous belt extends 
for 1 miles in length and J-mile in width. The most important 
line is that along Big Nugget Hill. It was on this field that a large 
mass of golden quartz weighing 106 pounds was found in 1851 



Fig. 117. Section through Big Nugget Hill, Hargkaves {Pitt man). 
A.A.A. Saddle Reefs. B.B. Flat Reefs. 

by an aboriginal shepherd. This discovery led to the opening up of 
an exceedingly rich alluvial field, that was not exhausted until 
the early 'seventies. Auriferous reefs of another kind, locally 
termed " flat reefs," occur at Hargraves. While these flat reefs 
have been found to be unpayable throughout the whole of their 
extension, they nevertheless contain extremely rich shoots^ especially 
where they intersect a narrow band of dark-greenish slate inter- 
bedded with the country and locally -termed the " Indicator." 
The indicator generally carries an exceedingly thin quartz-vein. 
The gold " makes" only in the flat reefs, but is always restricted 
to within a few inches of the plane of intersection. The general plan 
of operations pursued, in prospecting for "' pockets " in the flat 
reefs, has therefore been to trench along the outcrop of the 

Lucknow. The Lucknow mines are 6 miles from Orange in 
central New South Wales. Alluvial leads (Pleistocene and Pliocene) 
were worked in the vicinity as early as 1863. The veins, whose 
degradation had furnished the gold, were soon afterwards discovered. 

a Watt, Rec. Geol. Surv. N.S.W., VI, 1899, p. 83. 



They were of great richness at and near the outcrop, pay-ore 
occurring in rich bonanzas or ore-shoots. For the 8-year period, 
1892 to 1899, the two principal mines of Lucknow (Wentworth 
Proprietary and Aladdin's Lamp) had produced nearly 800,000 
gold. The present production is, however, unimportant, and is 
indeed largely obtained from the battery tailings left after the 




entw/rth extn 

ic if 1 ** f At'? 

,P' , 1 e >w"<%T A, <.UhclE Tom Sua 

1 5 (1 ^^V K . <*fiCfORM SH. 

Ma. v Shaft 




*r<f ,/ei n 

ewtr* ve t" "'-%,. ^ 

yeifCdttu^/ Point Shaft 



/./* * e ' n ~~^:yr k SuauKOCK S*S'T 




IC32) ax 
Fig. 118. Plan of Lucknow Goldfield (Pittman). 

treatment of rich ore. The Lucknow ore-bodies are somewhat 
remarkable. They are invariably found as shoots, pipes, or bunches 
of ore at or near the junction of a number of east and west veins 
with a north-west and south-east main fissure, which is often 
vertical, but generally dips north-east at 60. The hanging-wall 
of the " main fissure" is a mottled dark-green and white serpentine, 


the foot-wall greenish-grey augite-andesite. Occasionally, augite- 
andesite forms both walls of the " main fissure," but when this 
is the case no ore-bodies are developed. Three hundred feet or less 
to the north-east of the main fissure the augite-andesite again 
appears. The serpentine is therefore merely a band with a maximum 
width of 300 feet. It is believed to have originated from the decom- 
position of the augite-andesite. b Nephrite or jade has also been 
found, but only as a narrow band a foot or so in width, lying between 
the ore-body and the serpentine hanging-wall. The east and west 
veins in the footwall andesite are never known to cross the main 
fissure, although no less than 17 of them have been worked. They 
are generally vertical or dip at a high angle, and vary in width 
from a few inches up to 6 feet or more. They have a banded 
structure, enclose fragments of country (augite-andesite), and 
carry a gangue of quartz which on approach to the main fissure 
and to the serpentine is replaced by calcite, the matrix in 
particular of the rich ore-shoots. In the lower levels, at least, 
the quartz gangue is never payable. The gold in the calcite is 
either free or occurs in mispickel. Ore-bodies unconnected with 
the east and west veins have never been found. 

:"- : :vSV-. 

fast and West > >/ ' . c 

Quartz ^j Vein Xj * \ ' / 9". . 

!.** * l. > X ; . V-.-. 

1 L rf X X l\.^.- 

j.,.. > .ft h/^i- 3 - jR.: ".- 

tn 1 1 nninif Ore bodies >. L x <^ l i. 

Fig. 119. Plan" showing Details of Occurrence of Ore-bodies at 

Lucknow (Pittmun). 

The ore-bodies are developed as follows : 

(a) Shoots or pipes along the junction of the quartz-veins 
with the main fissure. 

(b) As bunches extending horizontally along the main fissure 
for a length of from 20 to 50 feet, but always starting from the 
toe, or plane of contact, of a quartz-vein with the main fissure. 

"Httman, Rec. Geol. Surr., N.S.W., VII, 1900, p. 3. 
" Loc. cit., p. 4. 


(c) As " droppers " from the footwall of the main fissure. 

{(I) As shoots in the east and west veins (but only near their 
junction with the main fissure) where calcite replaces the quartz 
for a short distance. 

The gold was free in the upper zones, but in depth it lies in 
auriferous mispickel that is associated with metallic antimony and 
often with stibnite. In the lowest levels pyrrhotite replaces the 
mispickel, and the replacement is accompanied by a corresponding 
falling off in the tenor of the quartz. The mispickel occurs in 
characteristic stellate crystals that may contain 50 to 500 ounces 
gold per ton. The bullion is worth 3. 10s. per ounce. 

Lyndhurst The Lyndhurst goldfield is in the Bathurst 
district, 8 miles west by south of Carcoar. The country is a sedi- 
mentary series of probable Lower Silurian age, and consists of 
bluish-grey claystones alternating with beds of a highly altered 
siliceous and pyritous rock that when thin forms, or when thick 
contains, the ore-bodies. The sedimentary rocks have been intruded 
by hornblendic granite, and by dykes and sills of diorite that are 
apparently off -shoots from the granite massif. a Another series of 
dykes in this case of augite-andesite is also found within the 
auriferous area. Small lenticular masses of bluish-grey limestone 
are often associated with the Lyndhurst ore-bodies. The thickness 
of the claystones and of the intercalated ore-bodies varies from that 
of a sheet of paper up to 20 feet. In the three principal mines the 
productive ore-bodies have been found only in association with 
dykes of diorite and augite-andesite, and these intrusions appear 
therefore to have had some genetic connection with ore-deposition. 
The ore-bodies are, as has already been seen, confined to hard 
intercalated beds. These were originally tuffs, but have subse- 
quently been largely altered by siliceous sulphide impregnations. 
The tuffs are regarded by Pittman 6 as representing original 
submarine tuffs and flows, much broken and disturbed by steam 
injections while still in the plastic state. The normal process of 
replacement of calcareous tuffs by silica and pyrite is, however, 
quite competent to produce the appearance of friction or of 
deposition-brecciation. The Lyndhurst occurrences in this respect 
show considerable analogies with those of Newman Hill, Rico, 
Colorado. The bedded auriferous deposits cover about 500 
acres. Three ore-beds averaging 10 to 11 feet in thickness, and 
separated by two claystone beds of 15 feet and 3 feet respectively 
in thickness, are definitely knoMn. The value of the ore varies from 

" Pittman, Rec." Geol. Surv. X.S.W., VII, 1900, p. 9. 
b Loc. fit,, p. 13. 



3 dwts. to 2 ounces gold per ton. The sulphides present are mispickel, 
pyrrhotite, and pyrite. 

Wy along. The Wyalong field, in central New South Wales, 
between the Lucknow and Murrumbidgee rivers and on the same 
parallel of latitude as Sydney, lies in the heart of a scrub-dotted 
plain intersected by low ridges. Gold was not discovered in this 
district until August, 1893, but from that month to the end of 1906 
the mines had produced 237,870 tons ore for 351,284 ounces gold 
worth 1,365,360. It will thus be seen that the general grade of ore 
treated is comparatively high, averaging indeed 1| ounces per ton. 
The ore sent to the smelters ranges from 3 to 20 ounces per ton." 
The deepest mines on the field have reached depths of 1,100 and 
1,300 feet from the surface. The field suffers from scarcity of 
water (the rainfall being only 20 inches per annum), and this 
difficulty is accentuated by the impossibility of water-conservation, 
owing to the general flatness of the country. 

The auriferous veins of Wyalong 6 lie entirely within a rock 

locally termed granite, but which appears to be rather a tonalite 

(quartz-mica-diorite) than a granite. It has in mass a distinctly 

gneissose structure, that close to the vein fissures develops into 

well-marked schistosity. The hornblende and biotite have a 

roughly parallel arrangement, thus giving a banded appearance 

to the rock. The felspar, which is entirely oligoclase, preponderates 

largely. There is a little quartz, with a large amount of hornblende. 

The ultimate analysis of the rock is as follows : c 

Moisture at 100 C 0-13 

Combined water .. .. .. .. .. .. 0-73 

Silica (Si0 2 ) 58-93 

Ferric oxide (Fe 2 3 ) 1-73 

Ferrous oxide (FeO) 5-01 

Manganese oxide (MnO) . . . . . . . . . . Trace. 

Alumina (A10 3 ) 17-48 

Lime (CaO) 7-08 

Magnesia (MgO) .. .. .. .. .. 4-33 

Potash (K 2 0) ' 1-34 

Soda (Na 2 0) 2-91 

Titanic oxide (Ti0 2 ) 0-52 

Vanadium pentoxide (V 2 O s ) .. .. .. Strong trace. 

Phosphorus pentoxide (P 2 0.) .. .. .. .. 0-14 

Sulphide trioxide . . . . . . . . . . . . Absent. 

The rock is therefore a quartz-mica-diorite and may be compared 
with the tonalite of Charters Towers, the petrological features of 
which field are indeed closely paralleled at Wyalong. 

Ann. Rep. Dep. Mines., 1906, p. 13. 

6 Watt, Min. Res., No. 5, Geol. Surv., N.S.W., 1899, p. 15. 

c Watt, loc. cit., p. 14. 


The alteration due to crushing and to subsequent percolation 
of passing waters proceeds far into the vein-walls, which are occa- 
sionally silicified. The country of Wyalong has been weathered 
to great depths by meteoric waters, and in the early days of the 
field was worked to a depth of 150 feet by pick and shovel alone. 

Sedimentary rocks (Upper Silurian ?) have a very small 
development in the neighbourhood of Wyalong. They are repre- 
sented, but lie about 2 miles to the east of the auriferous area. 
They are schistose slates and quartzites, that are associated with 
possibly intrusive diorites, large areas of which have been metamor- 
phosed to hornblende-schists. The quartz-mica-diorite of the 
field is considered by Watt to be younger than both the schistose 
diorite and the sedimentary rocks. The veins occur in zones of 
crushed granite that are often 8 to 10 feet wide, and more or less 
parallel in strike. They are contained within an area of 1\ square 
miles. Some 8 to 10 such zones are known. The veins within the 
crushed granite zones are on the whole small, running from a few 
inches to \\ feet. They are lenticular and are often highly slicken- 
sided. Quartz is the ordinary vein filling. Reddish-brown opal 
is also present. It is, however, always restricted to the upper 
oxidised zone, and carries fairly large grains of free gold. In depth 
the gold is exceedingly fine, and is associated with pyrite, and 
smaller quantities of galena, mispickel, and blende. Even in the 
upper oxidised zone the gold is fine, especially in the "ironstone" 
or gossan. There has thus obviously been no appreciable actual 
secondary surface enrichment, the outcrop gold being apparently 
merely a residual' deposit from the decomposition of pyrites. 
Owing to the general flatness of the land surface, the fineness of 
the gold, and the very small rainfall, no alluvial deposits have 
been formed at Wyalong. 

Mitchell's Creek. The Mitchell's Creek goldfield is in the 
Mudgee district, 9 miles from Wellington. The rock of the district 
is a Silurian slate that is intruded by numerous augite-andesite 
dykes." The principal reef (Mitchell's) lies within an augite- 
andesite dyke. It varies in width from 3 inches to 5 feet, and in 
value from 5 to 13 dwts. per ton. Dick's reef is also in diorite 
(augite-andesite) . 

Yalwal. The Yalwal field is on the eastern side of the 
Australian Corderilla, some 8 miles from Nowra, on the Shoalhaven 
river. Alluvial gold had long been worked in the vicinity, but the 
reef gold remained untouched until 1873. The veins have since 
been mined spasmodically, but often successfully. The ore-bodies 

" Macdonald, W. F., Trans. Inst. Min. Met., XV, 1906, p. 526. 



occur as impregnations in indurated siliceous slates, quartzites, 
and conglomerates, associated with rhyolitic and basic lava flows, 
all of probable Devonian age. These are overlain unconformably 
by the Upper Marine Beds of the Permo-Carboniferous system. 
The Devonian rocks were intruded in Carboniferous times by 
granites and by quartz-felspar-porphyries." No reefs with well- 
defined walls exist in the district, but veinlets of quartz traverse 
the quartzites and silicified slates. Rich deposits and seams of gold 
are found near these veinlets, while all the rocks, including the 
conglomerates, contain small quantities of gold (1 to 2 dwts. per 
ton). The country is sparsely impregnated with pyrite. The rock 
is in general much silicified. Below the water-level are huge masses 
of pyrite and arsenopyrite. The quartz is ordinarily chalcedonic. 

Fig. 120. Sketch Section of the Yalwal Goldfield {Pittman). 

A. Nowra grits (Permo-Carboniferous). B. Shales and conglomerates (do.). C. Devonian 
quartzites, conglomerates, and silicified slate3 containing gold. 

The gold is exceedingly fine. Free gold occurs only in the oxidised 
zones. It is clear that the gold was originally carried in the sulphides. 
Ore-deposition is associated by Andrews with the Carboniferous (?) 
granitic intrusions. Mining and milling costs are lower at Yalwal 
than elsewhere in the State, the total costs, as long ago as 1900, 
amounting to less than 8s. per ton. This low figure is due to cheap 
extraction from an open-cut that lies at a considerable elevation 
above the crushing mill. 

In the rhyolitic lavas (Devonian ?) of Grassy Gully, five miles 
from Yalwal, gold has been found in chalcedonic quartz in a devit- 
rified rhyolitic glass. The pay-ore is apparently an irregular 
cementation of the country, and always contains pyrite. The 
genesis of the ore-deposits appears to be similar to that observed 
at Yalwal. & 

a Andrews, Min. Res., No. 9, N.S.W. Geol. Surv., 1901, p. 14. 
6 Jaquet, Rec. Geol. Surv. N.S.W., VII, 1900, p. 18. 



Panhula. At Panbula and Wolumba, in the extreme south- 
east corner of the State, gold occurs in a rhyolitic felsite that contains 
numerous spherulites. Free gold is found in and adjoining the 
thin fissures with which the felsite is seamed. The gold is exceedingly 
fine and the country is thoroughly impregnated with pyrite. A 
notable local enrichment is observed in the vicinity of a quartz- 
vein, locally known as the " Pilot Reef " or " Indicator." This 
reef has been traced for nearly a mile. It is often pyritous but is. 
itself always barren/' 

Figs. 121 and 122. Plan and Section of Reef, Panbula 
Goldfield {Power). 

A. Rhyolite country. B. Hanging-wall. C. Quartz-vein-. 
D. Shattered zone, with fragments of rhyolite cemented by quartz. 

From 1851 to 1907 inclusive the gold yield of New South 
Wales has been : 


Cm ie Ounces. 










684,97< 1 












1 .078,866 






* Fine ounces. 

" Carne, Ann. Rep. Dept. Mines. N.S.W., 1896, p. 100. 



The yield of gold from Victoria, the smallest of the States 
of Australia with the exception of Tasmania, has been more 
than half that of the Commonwealth. Its gold-mining history 
may be said to date from the " rush " to Buninyong, though gold 
had earlier in the year (1851) been discovered at Clunes and at 
Anderson's Creek. Discoveries rapidly followed from widely- 
separated points ; from Pleasant Creek, Ararat, Avoca, Tarran- 
gower, Bendigo, Mclvor, Beechworth, &c, and a general " rush ' 
to the southern Eldorado took place that has been paralleled in 
history only by the mad race to California of some three years earlier. 
In the decade from 1852 to 1861 the enormous amount of 25,369,436 
ounces gold, worth more than 100,000,000 sterling, had been 
produced. The year of greatest production was 1856, when 3,053,744 
ounces were obtained. Among the earlier returns are included 
some of the largest nuggets known ; of these the weights of the 
chief are shown below : 



Date of Discovery. 




Welcome Stranger 


5 Feb., 1869 . . 




Bakery Hill. 

Ballarat . . 

15 June, 1858 . . 



Blanche Barkly 


27 August, 1857 




Canadian Gully, 

Ballarat. . 

31 Jan., 1853 . . 



Dunolly (2 nuggets) . . 





Sarah Sands 

Canadian Gully.. 

18 Sept., 1854 . . 



Since the first discovery of gold the total yield of Victoria to 
the end of 1906 has been 69,202,178 crude ounces (65,096,487 fine) 
worth 276,516,978. 

Rocks of doubtful Archaean and Cambrian age form the base- 
ment series of the Victorian strata. Important auriferous quartz- 
veins are not developed in these, but lie for the most part in the 
overlying sharply-folded Ordovician slates and sandstones. These 
have been separated from the overlying Silurian mainly by aid 
of their contained graptolites. The Silurian rocks also contain 
auriferous quartz-veins. The numerous granite intrusions into the 
Palaeozoic sediments are for the most part of a fairly basic type, as 
has been well shown by Hogg,-' who calls attention to the relatively 
abundant occurrence in these rocks of plagioclase felspar ; and 
many of his rocks obviously fall within the group of granodiorites, 

Proc. Roy. Soc. Vict., XIII, N.S., 1901, p. 214. 



as outlined by Lindgren. a According to Howitt, quoted by 
Gregory,** the granitoid rocks of Victoria may be divided into a 
pre-Silurian granite and a Devonian, or at least, pre-Carboniferous 
granodiorite. Limburgite dykes of Tertiary age are numerous, 
but have exercised little or no effect on auriferous deposition. 

The goldfields of the Ordovician rocks of Victoria are : Bendigo, 
Ballarat, Castlemaine, Maldon, Daylesford, Blackwood, Berringa, 
Steiglitz, dunes, Creswick, Maryborough, Dunolly, Wedderburn, 
Ingle wood, Avoca, Ararat, Stawell, and St. Arnaud on the west, 
with Chiltern, Rutherglen, Myrtleford, Harrietville, Dargo, 
Bulumwaal, Dart River, &c, on the east. 

The Silurian quartz-veins lie in shales, sandstones, mudstones, 
and limestones, at Walhalla, Wood's Point, Foster, Tanjil, Yarra 
Basin, Reedy Creek, Rushworth, Heathcote, and Upper Goulburn 

In addition to the foregoing there are, in the Benambra and 
Bogong counties in the extreme north-east of the State, goldfields, 
or rather gold occurrences, in metamorphic rocks (schists and 
gneissic granite) of possible pre-Cambrian age. Veins may also 
occur in the intrusive granitoid rocks. 

The principal producing districts of Victoria were for 1906 : 







Ararat and Stawell 



The principal producing mines were : 


Long Tunnel, Walhalla 


Long Tunnel Extended, Walhalla 


New Moon, Bendigo 


South New Moon, Bendigo 


New Argus, Bendigo 


Virginia, Bendigo 


a Amer. Jour. Sci., IV, IX, 1900, p. 2C9. 

h Mem. Geol. Surv. Vict., No. 1, 1903, p. 42. 

c Kitson, Victorian Year Book, 1905, p. 519. 


Gippslaiid. Gippsland, in the south-eastern region of Victoria, 
contains several mining districts, the most prominent of which 
are Walhalla (Long Tunnel) ; Jericho (New Loch Fyne, &c.) ; 
Bulumwaal or Boggy Creek ; and Omeo. In the Walhalla district 
the reefs are in or are associated with granitoid dykes. The main 
auriferous belt commences south of WaDialla and runs north- 
north-west through Jericho, Matlock, Wood's Point. Enoch's 
Point, and Jamieson. At Bulumwaal, eight miles north of Bairnsdale, 
gold-quartz veins are found in the intrusive granitoid rock. The 
Ordovician series in the Gippsland area is partly overlain by 
Devonian or at least Upper Palaeozoic strata which carry a few 
gold-quartz veins of importance, but which are nowhere else 
in Victoria known to be auriferous. The evidence for the 
Devonian age of these upper beds is, however, very slender. 
The Ordovician rocks are there intruded by massive diorite 
dykes that strike and dip with the country. Walhalla is situated 
at the bottom of a deep ravine. Its veins were discovered in 
1863, and the famous Long Tunnel Company was registered in 
July of that year. The reefs were very rich at the surface. The 
Long Tunnel has been one of the richest quartz mines in Australia. 
The mine was long worked from a shaft sunk from a point 
575 feet within the tunnel, and the lode has been followed for a 
depth of 4,100 feet on the dip. To the middle of 1908 it had 
crushed 648,385 tons for 765,246 ounces, and had paid in 
dividends 1,270,200. To the end of 1898 the reef (Cohen's) on 
which the Long Tunnel mine is worked had, in the various 
mines of Walhalla, yielded 2,000,000 ounces. The adjacent Long 
Tunnel Extended Company, formed in 1870, and working on the 
same reef, has produced gold to the value of 1,530,000, and has 
paid in dividends 770,880. To the 2,200 feet level the Cohen's 
reef was associated with a diorite dyke. 

The Matlock field lies in the dividing range of south-eastern 
Victoria and contains one well-known mine, the New Loch Fyne, 
working on a great diorite dyke some 300 feet wide and intersected 
by numerous quartz-veins. The whole of the dyke is highly pyritous 
and yields milling ore. To the end of 1898, the New Loch Fyne 
had yielded 49,889 ounces from 50,247 tons quartz, and had paid 
96,200 in dividends. A number of fields of minor importance are 
being worked in Gippsland. 

Beechworth. The Beechworth district includes the gold- 
fields of Rutherglen, Chiltern, Beechworth, Yackandandah, 
Bethanga, W T andilgong, Harrietville, Alexandra, Gaffney's Creek, 
Wood's Point, and Big River. This district lies between the Murray 
river and the dividing range, and for the most part east of the Ovens 



river. Its gold is mainly derived from the great deep " leads ' 
buried beneath Upper Tertiary basaltic flows. The principal reefing 
divisions within the district are at Bright, Harriet ville, and Gaffney's 
Creek. In the last, the gold-quartz veins occur as flat L floors' 
in diorite dykes that run for miles through the country, their strike 
nearly coinciding with that of the Ordovician rocks. The dykes 
attain a maximum width of some 200 feet. 

While no clear evidence of the relation of the goldfields of 
Victoria to the quartz-mica-diorite (granodiorite) masses of post- 
Silurian age is available from the two leading goldfields of Ballarat 
and Bendigo, this evidence is amply furnished by some of the minor 





/' ' i states i 


Midd/e " Reef 







' l l'l fi, t/MP^ ^J^^L^^tf^^/.'""* Cherry* *ef 

1 / .' :/,,' / '// 1 1 Level of /fiver 

U, i " i/i" 

Fig. 123. Auriferous Quartz " Floors " ix Morning Star Dike. Wood's Point ( WhUelaiv). 

(Scale about 160 feet to the inch.) 

fields. Of these, Wood's Point" is perhaps the best example. Here, 
Lower Ordovician rocks are intruded by various types of quartz- 
mica-diorites.' J In the latter auriferous deposition has taken place, 
the gold occurring generally in quartz-floors in the dykes. The 
thickness of the floors varies directly with the width of the dykes, 
the wider dykes (over 50 feet) possessing the thicker floors (1 to 10 
feet). Pyrite and galena ordinarily accompany the gold. In the 
principal dyke (the Morning Star) the richest gold is obtained near 
the contact of dyke and slate. 

" Wbitelaw, Mem. Geol. Surv. Vict., 1905, Xo. 3, p. 11. 
'' Gregory, loc. cit. sup., p. 32. 



Ballarat. Ballarat lies 70 miles west-north-west of Melbourne. 
Its rocks are thin-bedded unfossiliferous shales and sandstones, 
striking practically north and south and dipping generally to the 
west, though the dip is often reversed owing to faulting." The 
nearest granitoid rocks exposed are some miles to the east of 
Ballarat, near Gong Gong Creek and Warrenheip. These are later 

Fig. 124. Sketch Plan of the Ballarat Mining Fif.ld [Murray). 

in age than the Ordovician slates, and have metamorphosed them 
along the immediate contacts. Their metamorphic influence does not 
reach as far as Ballarat, though they may be nevertheless considered 
partly responsible for the great crumpling to which the sedimentary 
rocks of the region have been subjected. Sub-acid felsitic rocks 

a Gregory, Mem. Geol. Surv. Vict., Xo. 4. 1907. 


are intrusive through the Ballarat rocks, and are probably 
to be connected with the granitoid magma. The limburgite 
dykes that are intrusive at Ballarat belong to a Tertiary period 
of basic volcanic activity. 

The quartz-mines of Ballarat occur in three distinct areas : 
Little Bendigo, Ballarat East, and Ballarat West. The first-named 
is situated to the north of the Ballarat East section. Its vein- 
channels strike approximately north and south. The principal is 
the Monte Cristo line a band of alternating sandstone and slate, 
bounded by two parallel fault lines, and containing numerous 
transverse flat quartz-veins that pitch slightly to the south and dip 
east. A central band of slate is known as the Jarvis Indicator/* 

The Ballarat West area is covered by basalt and its veins 
therefore do not outcrop. They were discovered by the alluvial 
miners who had followed the rich alluvial leads beneath the basalt. 
The veins have now been worked in depth to 2,300 feet. They 
are irregular lenticular masses with many lateral and vertical 

Ballarat East furnished many of the great gold nuggets of the 
early 'fifties. Similar large nuggets of gold have been found in the 
underlying quartz-veins. One type of vein in Ballarat East is 
represented by almost horizontal veins that are auriferous only 
at or in the immediate vicinity of their contacts with certain bands 
of slate termed " indicators." Nuggets, are, however, occasionally 
found within the " indicator belt," but away from the indicator 
(55 feet away in the Woah Hawp mine). 6 The relation of the 
auriferous pockets to the indicators appears to have been realised 
first in 1871. 

Considerable discussion has arisen as to the nature and origin 
of the "indicators." Rickard c gives the following excellent 
definition : "The indicator is essentially a very thin thread of black 
slate, which is remarkable on account of its extraordinary per- 
sistence, and also because the quartz seams which cross it are 
notably enriched. In places it is so impregnated with iron pyrites 
as to have the general appearance of a sulphide streak." The 
indicators have long been regarded as owing their black colour to 
carbonaceous material, which has further been cited as the reducing 
agent responsible for the precipitation of gold and sulphide. 
Bradford and Gregory , d however, regard the indicators as thin 
secondary seams developed along more or less vertical lines in the 

" Whitelaw, Rep. Dept. Mines Vict., 1901. 

" Gregory, loc. cit., p. 12. 

c Trans. Amer. Inst. M.E., XXX, 1900, p. 1009. 

"- Loc. cit., p. 13. 



sedimentary rocks. The indicators as examined by Gregory are 
of three types: (a) thin seams of pyrites; (6) chloritic bands; 
(c) rutile bands {e.g., the Pencil Mark). The views of Messrs. 
Bradford and Gregory as to the secondary origin of the indicators 
have not found general acceptance, and, despite their evidence, 
the view is still held that the indicators represent interstratified 



Slaty Sindttoc; 


Tbo Indicator 

Fig. 125. Vertical Section of the "Indicator" ix the New Normanby Mine, Ballarat 


sedimentary bands, the materials of which are partly replaced by 
pyrite, chlorite, and rutile, and that before, during, and after the 
formation of the quartz veins, the indicators were faulted and 
disturbed in common with the country. The various eccen- 
tricities displayed by the indicators are probably all to be explained 



on the latter assumption. Under the hypothesis of secondary 
origin, it is exceedingly difficult to account for the lack of fault- 
phenomena on the indicator walls. The typical indicator mines 
are grouped in the southern portion of the field. On them the 
earliest gold-mining was commenced in 1854. 

To the east of the " Indicator " proper are similar dark bands 
that have exercised a like effect on auriferous solutions. They 
are the " Eastern Indicator," " Black Seam," and " Pencil Mark." 
To the west are the " Telegraph ' and the " Western Indi- 
cator." Bradford a asserts that if rich gold is met with at any 




Fig. 126. Vertical Section of the Metropolitan Lode, Ballarat {Richard). 

given level on one indicator there is then no likelihood of gold 
occurring at the same level in the eastern or western indicators. 
In the northern part of the field the mines are working quartz- 
lodes developed along fault planes. The greatest enrichment has 
taken place along a strike fault, indicated by a clay seam resulting 
from fault-crushing, and known as the " Leather Jacket." 

The gangue of the Ballarat veins is ordinarily a white quartz, 
which is rarely laminated. Much of it may be of metasomatic 
origin. In the fault fissures the gangue is often abrecciated country 
rock with quartz and calcite and gold, galena, blende, arsenopyrite, 

a Aust. Min. Stand., June 1, 1899, p. 20. 



and pyrite. Another gangue material is a mixture of calcite, dolomite 
chlorite and sericite. The average fineness of the gold is about 

As an instance of the extraordinary richness of the Ballarat 
alluvials it is stated that more than 40,000,000 gold was obtained 
from its older leads between the years 1851-1868. 

Bendigo (Sandhurst). The goldfield of Bendigo, 100 miles 
north-west of Melbourne, lies in a region of low hills. Placer gold 
was discovered in 1851, and was the only source of gold until 1854, 
when the gold-quartz veins were opened up. The greatest yield 
from Bendigo was in 1853, when 661,729 ounces worth 2,646,800 

New Chum Line 

Garden Gully Line 

*v Hustlers Line 


Fig. 127. Ideal Section showing Main Lines of Reef, Bendigo (Rickard). 

were obtained, all, of course, from the placer deposits. Anticlinal 
axes in the Ordovician strata are here very prominent, and it is 
along these that the famous " saddle reefs " have been developed. 
Numerous bedded veins of quartz Have been formed in the 
saddles, and also in the inverted saddles, though the latter are of 
little economic importance. The former follow the crests of the 
anticlines for long distances, and are thickest at the crests, pinching 
out in depth along the " legs " on either side. The general strike 
of the anticlines is north-north-west and south-south-east. The 
veins lie along and between beds of slate and sandstone. Eleven 
such parallel lines of saddle reefs have been distinguished. Of 
these, three have been worked on an extensive scale, viz., New 
Chum, Garden Gully, and Hustler's. The first has been traced 

a Lidgey, Rep. Dep. Mines, Vict., 1894 ; Don., Trans. Amer. Inst. M.E., XXVII, 
1897, p. 57. 



for a distance of 14 miles, the second for 7 miles, and the third for 
5 miles. The greatest depth to which the New Chum line had been 
worked was, at the end of 1907, some 4,343 feet. At this depth 
the incoming water was very hot, and it was found necessary to cease 
mining operations at the bottom of the winze that had attained 
this depth until the water and adjacent rock had cooled." The 
anticlines undulate considerably in longitudinal direction, so that 
their pitch is sometimes to the north and sometimes to the south, 
often indeed as steeply as 20. The anticlinal axial planes are not 





\J683 'level 




: '^Su*Ni < mo level 

Fio. 128. True Saddle Reef, New Chttji Consolidated Mtse, 

Besdigo (Rickard). 

A. '"Centre-country" of sandstone. B. Slate. C. Quartz. 

truly vertical, but dip slightly to the east. The saddle reefs underlie 
each other at varying distances up to 300 feet or more. Structures 
simulating saddle reefs have been found, and are generally due to 
cross-Assuring. In working the saddles, prospecting for lower 
saddles is effected by sinking shafts designed to strike a " leg " 
of an underlying saddle, from whence stopes are carried up to the 
crest of the anticline. The inverted saddles are both poorer and 
smaller than the true saddles. The " legs " generally thin away 
to a single thread, but sometimes branch off, forming a number 

" Min. Jour., Feb. 29, 1908. 



of threads. Occasionally the crest of the anticline is continued 
upwards along a fault line induced by tension along the anticlinal 
axial plane. The gangue is ordinarily white banded quartz con- 
taining occasional horses of country. The distribution of the 
gold is irregular. The largest and richest body of ore yet uncovered 
was found at a depth of 600 to 700 feet on the Garden Gully line. 
The gold is generally finely divided, but is sometimes clearly visible. 
Pyrite, blende, and galena generally accompany the fine gold. 
Fissure veins and other normal vein types are also found at Bendigo 
as well as saddle reefs, and in many cases have proved profitable. 

[/.-. : ,-/.| SANDSTONE h->-^jg| SLATE fcY^'J QUARTZ 

Fig. 129. False Saddle Reef, Bkkdigo (Rickard). 

The most productive have been the networks of veins that are 
locally known as " makes of spurs " or "spur formations." Monchi- 
quite a dykes traverse the country. 

Lindgren 6 describes the occurrence of albite in the veins of 
Bendigo. It occurs both intergrown with the quartz and also 
as well-developed prismatic crystals, projecting from the walls 
of the vughs in the quartz. Later crystals of calcite sit on the quartz 
and albite, and pyrite on all three. Similar occurrences of albite 
are found in the Mother Lode region and in the Alaska-Treadwell 
mines, and also at the Morro Velho mine of the St. John del Bey 
Company, Minas Geraes, Brazil. 

a " Limburgite " of Howitt, Rep. Dep. Mines, Victoria, 1893. 
b Econ. Geol., I, 1906, p. 163. 



The nearest exposed acidic igneous rocks are the granodiorites 
that lie some 7 miles to the south of Bendigo." 

Maryborough. Maryborough, south-west of Bendigo, is a 
typical Victorian alluvial camp. Its reefs are also important, and 

Ws" Below Sill 

t80Y Below SUl 

530'8"Below 801, 

S99'8"Bdow SUl 

69V f Below SUl; 

19^ Below SUl 

893'? Below SUl 

399 3' Below SUl 

?'l'Bdow SUl 

993'9' Below SUl 

Fig. 130. Cross-section through Portion of Lazarus Mine on the New Chum Line 

of Reef, Bendigo (Dunn). 

a For detailed descriptions of Bendigo the following maybe consulted: Richard, 
Trans. Amer. Inst. M.E., XX, p. 463; XXI, p. 686; XXII, p. 289; Don., lb. 
XXVII, 1898, p. 566 ; Dunn, Rep. Dept. Mines, Victoria, 1893. 


in the early days of the field gave enormous returns from short 
outcrop shoots. 

Tarnagulla, the scene of the Poseidon rush of 1906 and of its 
nuggets, carried the famous Poverty reef, 25^ feet of which along 
the strike yielded a ton of gold. The reef was here some 20 feet 
thick for a depth of 60 feet, and often reached tenors of 50 ounces 
per ton. The Poverty reef is believed to have yielded gold of a 
total value of at least 1,340,000. It was in these and in the 
neighbouring Kingower, Moliagul, and Dunolly diggings that the 
largest Victorian nuggets were found. 

Avoca, St. Arnaud, and Amherst in the Maryborough division 
are placer camps of minor importance. In the Castlemaine division, 
south of Bendigo, the principal field is Maldon (Tarrangower). 
The rocks are Ordovician schists and quartzites intruded by granitic 
and basic intrusions, the latter (limburgite) having no appreciable 
effect on the primary ore-deposition. The granitic intrusions, 
on the other hand, are of importance, since auriferous reefs occur 
on each wall of a granite dyke. The granite is mainly felspar and 
quartz with subordinate mica. The principal mine is the South 
German. Its reef is some 10 feet in width and is highly pyritous, 
containing pyrite, arsenopyrite, chalcopyrite, and stibnite. The 
gold is very fine. Maldonite, or bismuth-gold, has been found 

The Castlemaine field is described by Baragwanath. fl It 
lies 22 miles south of Bendigo. The discovery of gold was made 
in 1851, the outcrop stone proving very rich. The rocks of the 
district are Lower Ordovician, the horizon being determined by 
the numerous graptolite remains. b The rocks vary in thickness 
from fine-grained shales to grits. They are intruded by granodiorite 
and are metamorphosed for a distance of some 70 feet, from the 
contact. For a further distance of 440 yards from the granite, 
intrusive veinlets or apophyses intersect the strata in various 
directions. The most noticeable feature in the Ordovician strata 
is the rapid succession of meridional anticlinal and synclinal folds 
across the field. The quartz occurrences, as on many Victorian 
Ordovician fields, are to be grouped as follows : 

(a) Fissure reefs, occupying and completely filling well-defined 


(b) Saddle reefs, as at Bendigo. 

(c) Fault reefs, irregularly deposited along fault planes. 

(d) " Spurs," deposited in irregular crevices in the strata. 

a Mem. Geo!. Surv. Victoria, No. 2, 1903, 
b Hall, Geol. Mag., VI, 1899, p. 438. 



























Plalc XIII. 

Anticlinal Fold. Nimbod Line, Castlemaim:. 
(Geological Survey of Victoria.) 



Although the limburgite dykes are Tertiary and the majority 
of the quartz reefs are much older there are, nevertheless, important 
instances of payable quartz having been deposited since the basic 
Tertiary intrusions. Yields as high as 30 ounces per ton were 
obtained in quartz-veins in a dyke of this nature/' Where the 
dykes intersect auriferous veins they do not, however, appear to 
cause any perceptible enrichment. 

Though gold generally occurs in quartz at Castlemaine it may 
also be found in clean slate and in sandstone, usually occurring 
as shots or " nuggets," the latter weighing as much as 3 or 4 ounces. 
Associated with the gold are small quantities of pyrite, arsenopyrite, 
blende, and galena. 

Ararat. The Ararat division lies towards the western desert 
region of the State and on the western end of the main Victorian 
dividing range. The Ordovician rocks are folded meridionally 
as elsewhere in Victoria and are intruded by granitic rocks, some 
of which contain gold-quartz veins that were worked at a profit 
until the veins passed in depth (200 feet) into undecomposed granite. 

The principal field in the Ararat division is Stawell, where 
are situated some of the deepest workings in Victoria. The 
Magdala-cum-Moonlight and Oriental mines are the most 
prominent. Their general geological characters resemble those of 
the eastern fields. 

Alluvial. The alluvial deposits of Victoria are divided, 
without, of course, any very sharp divisional line, into the shallow 
deposits hi the course of the present water-channels, and the so-called 
" deep leads " that form the beds of ancient rivers, and that have 
since been covered by accumulations of drift or by volcanic lava- 

The gold of the shallow placer deposits of Victoria was nearly 
all exhausted within the first 20 years of gold-digging. Never- 
theless, from time to time, small areas that have escaped the 
shovel and pan of the older generation of diggers are brought 
to light. The chief of these in recent years has been the Poseidon, 
aptly named, though certainly so by chance. 6 It is situated near 
Tarnagulla, a famous camp in the 'fifties. A small " rush ' : 
to this field took place towards the end of 1906, and numerous 
nuggets were unearthed. The largest was found on December 
18th, 1906, and weighed 953 ounces gross (703 ounces fine) and was 
sold for 2,878. 16s. 6d. Other nuggets of 675, 502, and 387 ounces 

a Baragwanath, loc. cit., p. 14. 

" Poseidon was the grandfather of Argo, the leader of the expedition to Colchis 
in search of the Golden Fleece. 



respectively have since been found, and within a distance of 84 feet 
no less than 3,000 ounces gold, all in large nuggets, were obtained. 
All lay in the soil and clay and within a foot of the surface. 

. Nil N?2 


OrdOi/iciar)\ -/A 
Silurian J 0. 



Deep Leads 

Belts of J sf 


Fig. 132. The Loddon, Avoca, and Ballarat Deep Leads ( Wilkinson). 

Next, perhaps, to those of California, the alluvial deposits of 
Australia have been the most productive known. The richer 
surface deposits that in both cases aroused the wonder of the 
civilised world have long been exhausted, and the working of the 
deep leads now requires stringent economy in mining and manage- 


ment, for it is necessary in most cases to follow the buried channels 
beneath great depths of later alluvium, or of alluvium and basaltic 
lava-flows. ft 

The oldest rocks forming the bedrock of the gravels are Ordovician 
and Silurian shales and sandstones, in places intruded by granodiorite 
and granite. The Victorian area has for long been a land surface 
in which deep valleys existed at least as early as Middle Pliocene 
times and possibly earlier still. In later times, owing to the regional 
depression and the lessening of the grade of the rivers due to 
tilting accompanying secular movements, the older gravels were 
covered by silts and clays. Many of the Tertiary valleys were 
filled and their direction hidden by great basaltic lava-flows that 
range in thickness up to 400 feet. It appears that there were two 
widely-separated periods of basaltic eruption, and the basaltic 
flows that fill many of the buried valleys of Gippsland are believed 
to be older than those of Western Victoria. There also appear to 
have been three or four periods of temporary cessation of volcanic 
activity, when sedimentation was resumed, since there are, between 
the flows, bands of alluvium of varying thickness. 

The auriferous zones within the Ordovician rocks of Victoria 
are disposed meridionally, and " deep leads " directly derived 
from the denudation of these zones are naturally richer than those 
whose channels ran along the broader intermediate barren zones. 
Within the zones themselves there are also areas of special enrich- 
ment that have formed by their denudation the most notable placer 
fields of the State. Where tributary " leads " cross the belts of 
enrichment they also are notably more productive. Wilkinson, 
to whom we owe the most recent and one of the best descriptions 
of these interesting deposits, concludes 6 that it is only where the 
fine gold transported from a distance has been supplemented by 
the local gold derived from gold-quartz veins lying in areas or 
belts of enrichment, that the deep leads may be profitaoly worked. 
Very often the enrichment due to local gold-quartz veins is, in 
leads of low gradient, confined to within a few hundred feet down- 
stream from the vein. Several of the deep leads have been traced 
for a distance of 50 to 60 miles. The auriferous gravel or " wash " 
as a rule consists of sand with water-worn quartz pebbles of an 
average diameter of perhaps 3 inches, but which may nevertheless 
reach 3 feet in diameter. The thickness of the wash varies 
considerably with the character of the bedrock and with the 
original grade of the old river channel. Tts average thickness is 
3 feet, but it may reach 12 feet. 

a Lindgren, Mining Mag., II, 1905, p. 33. 

6 Wilkinson, H. L., Trans. Inst. Min. and Met., 1907, p. 9. 



From various causes, of which a normal decrease in the velocity 
of many streams below their junction with other streams is the 
principal, the richness of deep-lead gravels is generally greater 
below the junction of the old streams than in either of the tributary 
channels. The Ordovician slates are noticeably more effective 
in retaining gold than the sandstones of the same series, since the 
latter wear smooth and the former to natural riffles. 

The principal deep-lead systems of Victoria are the Stawell, 
Avoca, Loddon, Campaspe, Goulburn, Ovens, and Murray, all in 
old channels in which the streams flowed north towards the site 
of the present valley of the Murray, and probably to a then existing 
similar river system, or possibly to an inland sea. The Pitfield, 
Ballarat, and Dargo leads are the chief of those lying in the old 
channels possessing a southward course. Most of the gold lies 
either on bed-rock or in some 2 or 3 feet of gravel above bed-rock. 
This portion alone is worth working. The amount extracted is there- 


V "'Its X 


I | 

soo $ 

... ; .. . i i .1. i .J .- 

// H/ies 10 

Figs. 133 and 134. Sections of Victorian Deep Leads {Wilkinson). 

fore measured in Victoria by a superficial unit, the square fathom. 
The present gradients of the principal leads are low and range 
from 10 to 40 feet per mile. In some places indeed, the gradients 
are reversed, and the coarse gravels lying on bed-rock in 
longitudinally horizontal channels show clearly that tilting 
has occurred since the deposition of these gravels. By far 
the richest and most extensive ancient placer channel is 
the great Loddon Lead system with its various tributaries, 
of which the Madam Berry Lead, near Creswick, has been the 
richest. In the Madam Berry mine, on that lead, an area of wash 
5,800 feet long and 450 feet wide yielded more than 1,500,000. 
The extraordinary local richness of this lead is due to the enriching 
effect of a series of quartz-reefs, each in itself perhaps unpayable, 
over which the old stream has flowed. Except in Gippsland and 
near Daylesford the leads are rarely sufficiently elevated to be 
worked level free. The most important deep lead in the north- 



eastern portion of the State is the Chiltern-Rutherglen, which has 
been worked from beneath the Chiltern Hills for 25 miles towards 
the Murray River. It is probably continued beneath that river 
into New South Wales. 

According to Wilkinson/ the factors determining the quantity 
of alluvial gold in the wash are : 

(1) The disposition of the auriferous zones of Victoria. 

(2) The position of the belts of enrichment on the various 
auriferous zones. 

(3) The longitudinal gradient of the lead bed. 

(4) The cross profile of the lead channel. 

(5) The variations in width of wash and consequent variations 
in value. 

(6) The junction of two leads. 

(7) The capacity of the bed-rocks for arresting and retaining 
particles of gold. 

The deep leads are worked by sinking shafts to bed-rock in 
the deepest part of the channel, and driving levels within the bed- 
rock from the bottom of the shafts. From the levels the overlying 
gravels are reached by a series of rises or raises. 

Numerous dredging companies have been formed to work the 
shallower placers. Some of these, especially in the neighbourhood 
of Beechworth, have been very successful. The largest (the 
Eldorado, Beechworth) obtained in 1907 gold to the amount of 
3,492 ounces, together with 39 tons tin-ore. 

The total quantity of gravel treated in Victoria in 1906 by 
bucket-dredging, pump-sluicing, and jet-elevating, was 17,307,277 
cubic yards, which yielded 85,271 ounces gold, or an average yield 
of 2-36 grains per cubic yard. Of the value recovered 45,629 
was paid in dividends. 

During the present century gold to the following amount and 
value has been obtained from Victoria : 


Crude Ounces. 























* Fine ounces, returns of crude ounces not being available. 

a Loc. cit., p. 7. 


The total yield of Victoria from 1851 to 1907 inclusive has 
been 65,792,063 fine ounces worth 279,498,833. 


The geology of the older rocks of Tasmania presents no essential 
difference from that of similar strata in Victoria, save that the 
Archaean and pre-Cambrian rocks are developed in Tasmania to a 
relatively much greater extent than on the mainland. These 
fundamental rocks are highly crystalline quartzites and hornblende- 
mica-schists, that form an extensive belt down the west coast of the 
island. They contain no auriferous deposits of importance. The 
auriferous rocks, par excellence, of Tasmania are, as in Victoria, 
the Ordovician sedimentary rocks. Through these strata is 
intrusive the granitic core of the Australian Cordillera," which 
is certainly younger than Silurian, and is possibly, though the 
evidence on this point is not conclusive, younger even than Permo- 
Carboniferous. At the Lisle and Golconda fields auriferous veins 
traverse the granite. The further evidence available goes to show 
that the period of auriferous ore-deposition was certainly not 
subsequent to the Permo-Carboniferous, and that there is therefore 
no possible genetic connection between the ore-deposits and the great 
Mesozoic diabase eruptions of Tasmania. According to Waller b 
the auriferous copper-schists of Mount Lyell are undoubtedly due 
to the intrusion of the granite into Lower Silurian rocks. It will 
thus be apparent that the general relations of Tasmanian auriferous 
occurrences resemble very closely those of the already-described 
goldfields of the Eastern Cordilleras of Australia. 

The principal goldfields of Tasmania are Beaconsfield, Lefroy, 
Mathinna, and Mount Lyell. The first three are closely related 
geologically and lie in the not greatly altered Lower Silurian or 
Ordovician sedimentary rocks of the north-east of the island. 

The first payable gold was found in Tasmania in 1852, at the 
Nook, near Fingal, where the first gold-quartz mine was also opened 
up some seven years later. The entire production of gold prior to 1867 
was only 843 ounces, while that from 1866 to 1907 has been about 

a Twelvetrees, Trans. Aust. Inst. M.E., V, 1898, p. 105; Montgomery, lb. 
Ill, 1895, p. 204. 

b Rep. Aust. Ass. Adv. Sci., 1904, X, p. 629. 



1,700,000 crude ounces, worth 6,538,252. The more recent returns 
are as follows : 


Fine Ounces. 

Value, Sterling. 






















Beaconsfield. The Beaconsfield goldfield contains a single 
mine the Tasmania which is situated on the west side of the 
Tamar river, and about three miles from deep water. The reef was 
found in 1877 as a gossan, from 1| to 4 feet in width, outcropping 
at the crest of a long ridge (Cabbage Tree Hill) that overlooks the 
low-lying ground of the West Arm branch of the Tamar river. 

The Lower Silurian sedimentary series in which the reef occurs 
is made up of sandstones, grits, conglomerates, shales, and lime- 
stones, conformably bedded, striking north-west and south-east 
and dipping north-east at 65. The lower slopes of the ancient 
ridge on which the vein outcrops, are now hidden by the alluvial 
deposits of the West Arm, a drowned Tertiary valley. The old 
deep gravels of this valley carried rich alluvial gold where they 
were deposited immediately below the Tasmania vein-outcrop. 

The Tasmania reef strikes about north-east and south-west, 
almost indeed at right angles to the strike of the strata, and under- 
lies to the south-east at 1 in 2| to 1 in 3. It obviously fills a fault- 
fissure, since the beds are vertically displaced on either side of the 
course of the vein. Fossils of a species of Orthis were obtained in 
the workings, indicating the general Lower Silurian age of the 
country. The reef is from 2 to 25 feet in width and averages perhaps 
from 6 to 8 feet. At the present time its tenor ranges from 9 dwts. 
to 63 ounces per ton. The average tenor, as deduced from the ore 
crushed, has been 25 dwts. per ton. " Horses " are of frequent 
occurrence in the lode. The oxidised zone descended to a depth 
of 400 feet. In the lower levels the gold is associated with pyrite, 
chalcopyrite, and blende. Siderite is common. Shoots in this mine 
are not particularly well marked, and, despite the former belief 
to the contrary, the varying nature of the country walls has 
apparently not exercised a great deal of effect on local vein 
enrichment. a The Tasmania pumping plant is probably the most 
powerful employed at any gold mine ; its use is necessitated by 

a Montgomery, Rep. Pari. Papers, Tasmania, XXIV, 1891. 



the fact that the mine, owing to the dip and nature of the strata 
and the disposition of the watercourses, drains the country over a 
wide area. At times the pumps have had to deal Avith quantities 
of 8,100,000 gallons of water per day. In June, 1906, the subsidence 
of a limestone cave, 1J miles from the workings, led to the flooding 
of the lower levels. The Tasmania shafts had attained in 1908 a 
depth of 1,250 feet. The reef above the 715-foot level had then 
been completely blocked out. 



I Mile 

Cabbage Tree 
a Hill 


Figs. 135 asd 136. Plan and Section of Country in the neighbourhood of the Tasmania 

Lode, Beaconsfield {Montgomery). 
1. Blue slate. 2. Black shining slate. 3. Soft slate. 4. Light and dark grits and conglomerates. 
o.|Black sandstone. 6. White sandstone. 7. Dark blue sandstone. 8. Light sandstones. 9. 
Limestone. 10. Slate. 

The Tasmania reef is almost anomalous among gold-quartz 
veins, inasmuch as it shows no dependence, direct or indirect, on 
intrusive igneous rocks. The nearest known igneous rocks are the 
peculiar white binary quartz-felspar granite and the biotite-granite 
of Anderson's Creek, some three miles west of the mines. Both 
granites are decidedly aplitic in appearance. a 

a Twelvetrees, Rep. Aust. Assoc. Adv. Sci., X, 1904, p. 211. 


To the end of 1907 the Tasmania mine had produced 695,158 
ounces gold from 686,735 tons quartz, and had distributed to its 
shareholders to the end of the year 1905, 772,672 in dividends. 
Since that date the profits made on working have been absorbed by 
large capital expenditure. 

Lcfroy. The Lefroy district is seven miles east of the Tamar, 
and 28 miles north of Launceston. Its country is slate and sand- 
stone of probable Lower Silurian age. The strata have been greatly 
folded and dip irregularly. In the vicinity of the veins, however, 
the dip is only from 15 to 30. a The general strike of the strata, 
as at Beaconsfield, on the other side of the Tamar, is north-west 
and south-east. Unlike Beaconsfield, where there is no visible 
occurrence of igneous rock in the immediate vicinity of the mine, 
Lefroy shows granite in the south-west of the field. 

Slow subsidence of north-eastern Tasmania in Tertiary times 
has filled with alluvial deposits the old valleys at Lefroy, as at 
Beaconsfield. A little alluvial gold has from time to time been 
found in the deep leads so formed. 

The auriferous veins lie in a long lenticular area of soft 
country, that strikes north-west with the Lower Silurian strata. 
The auriferous lodes strike east and west and, as is general in a 
schistose or slaty country, are disposed en echelon. The lodes occupy 
fault-fissures in the country, and movements appear to have taken 
place in the fissure subsequent to the first deposition of auriferous 
quartz, brecciating the walls and the already deposited quartz. 
The lode-channels are often 50 to 100 feet wide, with intervening, 
and sometimes brecciated " horses." The gangue is quartz, and 
the gold is associated with pyrite, chalcopyrite, arsenopyrite, 
and stibnite, the last being considered a particularly favourable 
indicator for gold, especially in the mines closest to the granite. 
The gold is distributed in more or less regular shoots. The rich 
shoots of the Lefroy field have invariably pinched out at 350 to 
400 feet, and although gold has been obtained at greater depths 
of 800 and 1,100 feet, the quartz has been low grade. The general 
course of the payable reefs is N. 75 E., with an underlay south 
from 3 to 46. 6 

Mathinna. Mathinna c lies some 40 miles east of Launceston 
and 1,000 feet above sea-level. The auriferous series is clay, 
slate, graphitic slate, quartzite, sandstone, and argillaceous sand- 
stone. The main-fissure lines in the Golden Gate zone strike nearly 

a Montgomery, Rep. Govt. Geol. Tas., 1897, p. 111. 

b Jolly, Trans. Aust. Inst. M.E., IV, 1897, p. 132 ; Sandeman, Trans. N. Eng. Inst. 
M.E., XLIX, 1900, p. 28. 

c Twelvetrees, Rep. Mines Dep., Tasmania, 1906, p. 1. 




Cross section lookingNorth 



north and south. Twelvetrees notes that in the New Golden Gate 
mine, a reef is auriferous when its course is a little east of north, 
but barren when to the west of north. An anticlinal axis runs north- 
north-west and south-south-east through the field, and is believed 
to bear an important relation to the lode fissures, which suggest 
to a certain degree saddle-reef development, though the legs 
certainly do not dip exactly with the country on both sides of 

the crest. The vein-matrix is quartz, 
with pyrite and arsenopyrite. A connec- 
tion is traced by Twelvetrees with the 
granites that are exposed 10 miles to the 
north-east of Mathinna, where the reefs 
in the granite carry gold : ' The few 
observations that I have been able to 
make in various parts of the State 
(Tasmania) would tend to support the 
supposition that the origin of our gold- 
quartz is mainly granitic, and that the 
formation of the reef is essentially asso- 
ciated with tectonic disturbance of the 
stratified rocks." The values on the 
Mathinna field are mainly in the 
sulphides, samples of which from the 
1,600-foot level of the New Golden Gate 
have yielded as much as 80 ounces of gold 
per ton. The sulphides are pyrite, arseno- 
pyrite, galena, chalcopyrite, and blende. 
Galena and blende are locally considered 
the most favourable indicators. Blende 
is, however, absent from the lower levels. 
Secondary outcrop enrichment of the 
normal type has taken place on this field, 
much of the outcrop stone yielding from 
3 to 11 ounces per ton. The deepest 
shaft at Mathinna in 1908 had reached 1,900 feet. At this 
depth quartz assaying 24 dwts. per ton was met with. The gold 
in the upper levels was always of greater fineness than that from 
depth ; for example, the alluvial gold was 953-5 fine ; from the 
surface to the 360-foot level, the vein-gold was 955 to 900-5 fine ; 
and at the 1,100 and 1,200 foot levels only 925-5 to 850 fine. 

The auriferous quartz-veins of Mathinna do not occur, as do 
true saddle reefs, in the crests and troughs of the folds. They are 
confined, as at Lefroy, to broad zones of fissured country. The 
Golden Gate zone is 600 to 1,000 feet wide. The New Golden Gate 
mine, Mathinna, to the end of 1906 had produced 222,755 ounces 


Fig. 137. Section through 
New Golden Gate Mike, Math- 
lvxa (Twelvetrees). 



gold from 267,140 tons quartz worth 847,075, and had paid in 
dividends 355,200 on a share capital of 9,600. The main shaft 
is sunk to a depth of 1,620 feet. 

Mount Lyell. Mount Lyell is one of the famous copper 
mines of the world. The district was discovered to be payably 
auriferous in 1883, when a rich quartz outcrop was found, from 
which a hundredweight of stone yielded to the discoverer 831 
gold. This was, however, not the outcrop of the Mount Lyell mine 

\l o ooo oo 

v yiVo Vo3 o - \v 

o o o o 

# <? -. O n O 

O O o o 

o o-s-^^o o . o o o 

o o 


_ Faults 

S.o\ d 
\o o o^o 

_-' n O t, o 

Fig. 138. Sketch Map of Geology of Mount Lyell (Gregory). 

1. Queen River porphyry. 2. Mount Lyell schists. 3. Devonian conglomerates. 
4. Glacial deposits. 5. Alluvium. 

itself, since that mine was not discovered until 1886, and then 
the alluvial shoadings alone were worked. In 1893, the present 
Mount Lyell Company was formed, the smelters commencing 
work in 1896. 

The rocks of Mount Lyell are considered by Gregory a to be 
margarodite-schists and chlorite-schists derived from porphyrite 

a Trans. Aust. Inst. M.E., 1905, X, p. 07. 


or porphyrite-tuffs ; these are associated with schistose quartz- 
porphyries and schistose volcanic tuffs, of pre-Silurian (?) age. 
Diabase-porphyrites and diabase dykes are intrusive into the series. 
The series is apparently associated with undoubted Silurian sand- 
stones and limestones and with conglomerates of probable Devonian 
age. The rocks of the field are greatly faulted. The ore-deposits 
comprise mineralised bands of schist (fahlbands) and lens-shaped 
masses of very pure sulphide ores. The minerals are chiefly pyrite 
and fahlore, with chalcopyrite and bornite. The first two indicate 
high grade, but are erratic in distribution. A range of assays 
yielded the following averages : 

(1) (2) 

Copper . . . . . . 1-54 . . 6-96 per cent. 

Silver .. .. .. -36 .. -19 ozs. per ton. 

Gold -008 . . -019 

The masses of sulphide ore furnish the bulk of the ore-deposit. 
The footwall side of the great ore-body is the richer in copper, 
silver, and gold. Bornite and fahlore enrichments occur within 
the body, and assay Cu 3-65 per cent., Ag 2-07 ounces, Au 02 
ounces per ton. a Some secondary outcrop enrichment has taken 
place. This is a relative and not an actual enrichment, as is evident 
from the poverty of the " Ironstone Blow " in copper and silver. 
The average tenor of the ore being treated in 1907 was 2-18 per 
cent, copper, 1 -65 ounces silver, and 94 dwts. gold per ton. About 
400,000 tons ore are being treated annually for some 20,000 ounces 
gold. From August, 1903, to March, 1907, about 1,500,000 tons 
ore were mined for some 30,000 tons copper, 2,711,516 ounces 
silver, and 82,481 ounces gold. 

Placer gold has never been of importance in Tasmania. * The 
largest nuggets recorded were found on the Whyte river in 1883 
and weighed 243 and 143 ounces respectively. 


The goldfields of South Australia proper are small and unimpor- 
tant. They are, with one exception (Tarcoola), contained within 
the Cambrian and pre-Cambrian rocks of the mountain range that 
traverses Kangaroo Island, then swings to the north through Cape 
Jervis and passes through Mount Lofty to the east of Adelaide. 
Further north the range is prolonged to the north-east towards the 
famous Broken Hill silver fields, but the older rocks are here exposed 
only as discontinuous outcrops. Both Cambrian and pre-Cambrian 
strata are extensively intruded by igneous rocks. The fields near 

" Gregory, loc. cit., p. 1l'.">. 


Adelaide have in the past furnished considerable quantities of 
alluvial gold, but have not otherwise been of importance. For the 
most part they may be dismissed with the mere indication of their 
position. They occur on Kangaroo Island, and at Jupiter Creek, 
Hahndorf, Echunga, Gumeracha, Barossa, and Mount Pleasant, 
all from 17 to 35 miles north or north-west of Adelaide. 

The Echunga field was one of the earliest known in South 
Australia, having been discovered in 1851, consequent on the 
great stimulus given to prospecting by the discovery of the rich 
placers of New South Wales and Victoria earlier in that year. The 
gold of Echunga was mainly alluvial and lay in Older Pliocene 
gravels on the slopes and tops of the hills, as also was the case 
at the Barossa and at other fields further south. Several gold 
veins have been worked in the neighbourhood, but have not 
proved profitable. At the Bamannah mine, 14 miles east-south- 
east of Adelaide, small nuggets of gold occur with native bismuth 
in a quartz-vein. The country of the vein is kaolinised slate and 
argillaceous sandstone of Cambrian age. 

Of the numerous small fields lying toward the New South Wales 
frontier at Broken Hill, the Teetulpa, Wadnaminga, King's Bluff 
(Olary), Nillinghoo, and Mannahill are the principal. These are all 
well served by the Pietersburg Broken Hill railway. They nearly 
all depend on placer gold, and their gold-quartz veins are but little 
worked. The placers of the Teetulpa field, 15 miles east of 
Waukaringa, were first worked in 1886. The "wash" was rich, 
but was very limited in extent. The largest nugget found weighed 
29 ounces 15 dwts. The gravels are of Pliocene age. The total 
amount of placer gold obtained from this field is unknown, but it 
is believed that gold to the value of 300,000 was obtained/ 1 The 
Wadnaminga field, opened two years after Teetulpa, lies in a region 
of Cambrian mica-slate, sandstone, clay-slate, and crystalline 
dolomitic limestone. The slates and flags contain large scattered 
boulders of granite and quartzite. The Veins of Wadnaminga are 
small, but carry rich pockets of gold-quartz. 

The outlying goldfield of Tarcoola (Long. 134 30' E. ; Lat. 30 
31' S.) is some 360 miles north-west of Adelaide, and 170 miles from 
the nearest railway station at Coward Springs. The field lies in a 
sand-waste, barren beyond description. It is difficult of access and 
its mines are consequently expensive to work. The country is an 
interstratified quartzite, sandstone, and siliceous slate overlying a 
generally mica-less granitic rock that is associated with diorite, 
felspar-porphyry, and hornblende granite. The sedimentary 
members form a low ridge about 200 feet in height. The reefs 

a Brown, " Handbook of Mining, South Australia," 1901, p. 7. 



traverse both the sedimentary rocks and the underlying granite. 
Diorite dykes are found and have probably exerted some influence 
on ore-deposition. The gold is finely divided and occurs in shoots/' 
The first alluvial gold was found in 1893, and in 1899 a "rush " 
of minor importance took place, the richness of the vein-outcrops 
furnishing the inducement. At the first crushing of the principal 
mine (Tarcoola Blocks) 384 tons quartz yielded at the rate of 3i 
ounces per ton. From May 16th, 1901, to June 30th, 1907, this 
mine had crushed 26,719 tons ore for a yield of 36,086 ounces crude 
gold worth 112,355. 

The gold returns of South Australia and of the Northern 
Territory have not always been separated. Their total combined 
yield to 1903 inclusive has been 2,573,357. 

Of South Australia alone the following figures are probably 
as correct an approximation to the truth as is now possible : 



Value, Sterling. 





















Northern Territory The Northern Territory has long been 

administered by South Australia, but was in 1908 being taken 
over by the Federal Government. Its principal goldfields lie along 
a belt that stretches for some 200 miles south-east of Port Darwin 
along an exposure of pre-Cambrian rocks. The principal area is 
that of Pine Creek, 145 miles from Port Darwin, with which it is 
connected by railway. 

The basement rocks of the region are pre-Cambrian schists, 
phyllites, and quartzites. These are overlain by Cambrian lime- 
stones, containing Olenellus, Agnostus, and Macrodiscus. The 
limestones are succeeded by Ordovician (?) and Permo-Carboniferous 
strata. The pre-Cambrian rocks are extensively intruded, e.g., at 
Pine Creek, by a coarse-grained granite. Diorite and gabbro dykes 
are also found traversing the pre-Cambrian members/' 

The affinities of these goldfields are clearly with those of the 
"Auriferous Series" of Western Australia. The lodes of the Pine 

a Brown, Rec. Mines Dept., S.A., 1902. 

6 Brown and Basedow, Rep. Govt. Geol. S.A., "Northern Territory," 1905, p. 14. 


Creek district are rich but small. Those lying within the phyllites 
and schists are often lenticular. The mines are largely in the hands 
of Chinese. English companies have spent a considerable amount 
of capital on the gold mines of the territory, but with unfortunate 
results. The outcrops of the veins of the Pine Creek region have at 
times shown considerable enrichments. At the Extended Union 
mine, Union district, 30 miles north of Pine Creek, gold occurred 
near the surface in numerous curved laminated plates 1J inches wide 
and ^-inch thick. The country of the vein is crystalline dolomite 
disposed in scattered masses in phyllite." 

The Arltunga goldfield lies in the heart of the central desert 
of Australia. It is therefore difficult of access, and naturally presents 
insuperable obstacles to cheap and efficient working. The mines 
are in the White Range, 70 miles north-east of Alice Springs 
Telegraph Station. The country is quartzite and quartzose sand- 
stone with occasional dykes of granite and diorite. The veins occur 
in the quartzite. The outcrop stone is ferruginous and highly 
cellular, indicating abundance of pyrite in depth. Gold was 
discovered in 1897, and to June 30th, 1907, there had been treated 
8,780 tons quartz for 10,886 ounces gold worth 40,524, or an 
average tenor of 4. 12s. per ton. 

The earliest discovery of gold in the Northern Territory appears 
to have been made by a telegraph operator in 1870, but no influx 
of miners took place until two years later. From 1881 to 1890 the 
total yield was 478,840 ounces gold worth 1,639,908. The present 
yield is about 20,000 ounces annually. 


The State of Western Australia was until the last twenty years 
generally believed to be devoid of mineral wealth, a belief that arose 
rather from the inaccessibility of its interior desert country than 
from any actual knowledge of the geology of the State, for even at 
the present day there are, towards the South Australian border, wide 
tracts of untraversed country. The first important gold-discovery 
was made at Kimberley in 1882. It was followed, five years later, 
by that of Yilgarn, 200 miles east of Perth. The sensational finds 
at Coolgardie, in 1892, with which the history of gold in Western 
Australia may properly be said to commence, paved the way for 
numerous similar discoveries to the north, east, and south. 

a Basedow, in verb. 


The gold mines of central Western Australia are situated on a 
desert tableland about 1,200 to 1,400 feet above sea-level. The chief 
town and gold-mining centre, Kalgoorlie, is some 300 miles east of 
Perth. The auriferous rocks are disposed in long narrow bands, with 
a general meridional or north-north-westerly strike. But little is 
known of the boundaries of the belts, especially in their northern 
extensions, for natural and climatic conditions militate greatly 
against geological work, and the important results that have already 
been obtained by the Geological Survey of Western Australia are 
almost entirely the work of recent years, and represent an amount of 
labour and actual hardship inconceivable to workers in less torrid 

Of the areas so far examined, that of the Pilbara goldfield 
appears to throw the greatest light on the age and relations of the 
auriferous series. Gneissoid granites are believed to represent the 
fundamental rocks of the country. On this floor are laid the great 
series of rocks to which the general designation, " greenstone schists ' : 
has fitly been applied, the much-abused term, "greenstone," being 
here, as by Williams and others in the Lake Superior region, em- 
ployed merely as a comprehensive field term. The schists of the 
Pilbara district have not as yet been examined microscopically, but 
they are undoubtedly in part identical with those of the Mount 
Magnet, Kalgoorlie, and other fields to the south. So far as they 
have been differentiated, they have been found to consist in the 
main of amphibolites and hornblendic schists, certainly derivative 
from igneous rocks. Near the younger granitic rocks the hornblende- 
schists are occasionally so far reconstituted as to form massive 

Mica-schists, talc-schists, chloritic schists, and siderite-schists 
also occur in the Pilbara area, but the most remarkable rock here, 
as in the other auriferous areas, is the banded hsematite-magnetite- 
quartz rock, identical with that noted in the Indian, Rhodesian, 
and Eastern Transvaal belts. Here, also, it forms narrow bands or 
beds 30 to 60 feet wide, running for long distances parallel to the 
foliation and direction of the main belts, and furnishing the saw- 
toothed and serrated ridges that occupy such a prominent position 
in a greenstone-schist landscape. 

On the Kalgoorlie goldfield, where the rocks have been most 
closely examined, in addition to the prevailing amphibolites and 
hornblende-schists that carry the auriferous lodes, there also occurs 
a series of sedimentary rocks ranging from soft shales and sand- 
stones to slates and quartzites. The first are often highly graphitic, 
containing numerous nodules and crystals of iron pyrites. 


Everywhere the auriferous series is intruded by numerous, 
often parallel, diabasic and doleritic dykes. These are generally 
vertical, and, as will be seen later, they have exercised a notable 
effect in the formation of the younger gold deposits. In addition 
to the basic intrusions, there are found a great number of 
acidic dykes, which may be regarded as apophyses from the 
younger granites. These range from granites through aplites 
to rock, which may, in hand specimens, almost be termed 
vein-quartz. They appear, however, to have had no effect on 
auriferous deposition, and are themselves barren. 

In the Pilbara district the steeply-inclined schists are 
overlain by a fairly horizontal series of sandstones, grits, 
conglomerates, and thin limestones, associated with amygdaloidal 
diabase and felsitic volcanic rocks, as their basal members." 
To this series the term " Nullagine beds ' has been given. The 
presence of the amygdaloidal diabase is noteworthy, and may afford 
a clue to the age of the basic intrusive dykes of the auriferous series. 
Again overlying the Nullagine beds, and with apparent uncon- 
formity, is the extensive deposit of limestones, which forms charac- 
teristic mesas, and has from the place of its greatest develop- 
ment, been termed the " Oakover beds." All these, in their general 
characters, correspond very closely with the Cuddapahs and 
associated Karnuls of India. 

Three main forms of auriferous deposits may be distinguished 
in Western Australia : (a) " Lode formations." (b) Banded-hsema- 
tite-magnetite-quartz rock. (c) Normal quartz veins. The first 
form furnishes the most important matrix of gold in the State, and 
is especially well developed at Kalgoorlie, Kanowna, and Peak Hill. 
" Lode formations " are merely zones of rock impregnated with 
fine gold and with tellurides of gold. They merge insensibly into 
barren solid rock on either side, and are probably belts of 
sheared and fissured rocks, through which mineral solutions, liquid 
or gaseous, have had free passage. They have naturally no well- 
defined walls, and their limits are determined solely by their 
assay values. The normal change produced in the hornblendic 
schists in these zones seems to be the development of chloritic 

According to Lindgren, 6 the general alteration of the country 
has been by metasomatic processes from an amphibole-chlorite- 
zoisite-albite rock to a quartz-sericite-albite-carbonate rock. He 

a Maitland, Bull. West Aust. Geol. Surv. No. 15. 
b Econ. Geol., I, 1906, p. 539. 


concludes that all the evidence presented by the Kalgoorlie vein- 
minerals points to a genesis of the veins at considerable depth. 

The laminated haematite-quartz rocks enclose a class of 
ore-bodies of quite subordinate economic importance. They are 
developed only on the northern goldfields to any extent, 
notably on the Lennonville and Boogardie fields, and also on 
the fields to the north of Lake Austin. The quartzites them- 
selves are, moreover, not innately auriferous, and it is only 
where they are crossed by basic dykes, faults, or cross-veins 
that they carry gold, and then for only a few feet on either 
side of the intersection. Since the quartzites generally range from 
30 to 60 feet in width, and since the intersections are always at right 
angles, the shoots thus formed are extremely narrow/' 

Quartz veins are responsible for the gold on the majority of 
Western Australian fields, and may fairly clearly be divided into two 
classes, viz., blue and white. As a general rule, the former pre- 
vails on the northern goldfields and the latter on the southern. 
No clear distinction as to their age has yet been made, but the 
white veins appear to be the younger since they cut through and 
mineralise many of the laminated quartzites. b Quartz veins nearly 
always occupy shearing planes parallel to the plane of foliation, and 
within a given zone the country may be so thoroughly traversed by 
them as to form a stockwork. The more massive veins are 
characterised by the assumption of the lenticular habit. 

To these main forms of gold matrices must be added the auri- 
ferous conglomerates of the Nullagine district. These furnish a very 
close parallel in mode of formation to the famous " banket reefs " of 
the Witwatersrand. They have been described by Maitland 
as forming the Mosquito Creek Beds towards or at the base of the 
Nullagine series. They occur in lenticular masses, and contain 
gold both in thin white quartz veins parallel to the bedding 
planes, and also as grains interspersed through the matrix of the 
conglomerate. The veins are much richer than the conglomerates, 
the former averaging 2-82 ounces, the latter only 0-62 ounce per 
ton. Not the least characteristic feature of the southern gold- 
fields of Western Australia, and especially of Kalgoorlie, is the 
occurrence of tellurides of gold and silver. 

" Maitland, Ann. Rep. West Aust. Geol. Surv., 1903, p. 10. 
6 lb., 1902, p. 1G. 



The following table shows the gold-yield of Western Australia 
from 1886 to the end of 1907 :- 


Crude Ounces. 

Value, Sterling. 









































Fine Ounces. 


























Total to end") 
of 1907 . . ) 



Kimberley. The Kimberley field is the most northerly gold- 
field of Western Australia. It lies on the South Australian border, 
and about the 18th parallel of south latitude. It was discovered 
in 1882 by Mr. E. T. Hardman, then Government Geologist of 
Western Australia, and was proclaimed in 1886. The rocks of the 
district are Archaean crystalline schists overlain by Cambrian, 
Devonian, and Carboniferous rocks. The reefs lie in the schists, and 
in the associated granitoid gneisses/' Greenstone-schists form the 
country of the most important auriferous reefs. The schists are 
vertical, or nearly so, and seem to be arranged in a series of folds, 
the trend of which has been modified by the faulting which has taken 
place subsequent to the formation of the schists. Observations seem 
to indicate the occurrence of a double foliation in the district. 6 
The placer deposits were thin ; the reefs are irregular, small, and 
unpayable. This field was the scene of the disastrous Kimberley 

a Hardman, Rep. Geol. Surv. W.A., 1885, p. 22. 

b Maitland, Bull. Geol. Surv. W.A., No. 15; Id., Annual Mines Report, 1903, p. 8. 


" rush " of the 'eighties. The period of greatest production was in 
1887, when some 4,873 ounces were obtained. The field is now almost 
deserted, and its output is only a few hundred ounces annually. 
The total production of the Kimberley field to the end of 1906 has 
been 13,911-4 fine ounces from quartz, and 1,771-49 ounces fine 
gold from placer deposits. 

Pilbara. The oldest rocks occurring in the Pilbara area are 
granites and gneisses. These form the platform on which the newer 
formations were laid down, and everywhere underlie the deposits of 
the great plains extending from Port Hedland to Doolena Gorge 
on the Shaw River. To the gneissoid rocks succeed greenstone- 
schists and allied rocks, occupying an extensive area of country and 
appearing to be almost everywhere genetically connected with the 
occurrence of gold. These schists are associated with laminated, 
and sometimes hsematite-bearing, quartzites. The rocks of the 
greenstone-schist series have as yet not been closely studied 
microscopically, but some of the members seem to owe their 
origin to the metamorphism of eruptive rocks. There are, however, 
associated with them, rocks of undoubted sedimentary origin. 

Next in age to the greenstone-schists come the sandstones, 
grits, conglomerates, thin limestones, and associated volcanic rocks 
that are so well exposed in many parts of the district. These are 
grouped together as the Nullagine Beds. This formation, the actual 
base of which can rarely be seen, forms an important feature in the 
geology of Pilbara. On the strength of the lithological and 
structural similarity to those of the Leopold Range in Kimberley, 
the Nullagine Beds are assumed to be of the same age, viz., Cambrian. 
Above the Nullagine Beds come the sandstones, limestones, cherts, 
&c, that form the table-topped hills in the vicinity of the Oakover 
river. These do not, so far as has yet been observed, occupy any 
very extensive area of country, nor are they very thick. They 
are known as the Oakover Beds. Basic igneous rocks are intrusive 
into the schists, gneisses, and granites, and often form very con- 
spicuous features in the landscape, owing principally to their black 
weathered summits standing out in bold relief. Wherever good 
sections can be seen of these dykes, they are generally vertical. 
They do not attain any very great width, and have nowhere been 
seen to pierce the Nullagine Beds. 

The general direction of the auriferous belts almost everywhere 
coincides with the strike of the greenstone-schists, which, with 
few exceptions, form the country of the auriferous reefs. The 
width of a belt naturally varies, and in the three most northerly 
zones the exact width cannot be defined. The prevailing dip is that 
of the enclosing schists, which is generally to the southward. 


Quartz reefs occur in great abundance throughout the schistose rocks, 
and, to a more limited extent, in the area occupied by the granitic 
rocks. The quartz reefs are of two distinct types, viz., white quartz 
reefs, and laminated quartz and jasper veins, the latter approaching 
very closely in character the haematite-bearing quartzose rocks to 
which allusion has already been made. It is indeed from one of 
these beds of laminated quartz rocks at the Coongan river that the 
chief camp of Marble Bar derives its name. The laminated rocks 
range from almost pure quartz, through banded jaspers, with 
crystals of magnetite, to bands appearing to the eye to be virtually 
pure haematite. Quartz reefs of what may be termed the massive 
type occur plentifully in both the schist and the granite areas, 
but it is only in the former that the laminated and iron-bearing 
quartz rocks have been found. The reefs nearly always occur 
along the planes of foliation of the schists. They cannot be said 
to be of great length, and as a rule are thin, though they may 
occasionally swell out into large lenticular masses. Shoots occur 
in the veins." 

The principal mining camps of the Pilbara field are Marble Bar 
and Nullagine. The greater part of the goldfield lies north of the 
22nd parallel of south latitude, and east of the 119th meridian. 
The goldfield was proclaimed in 1895 and to the end of 1906 had 
produced from 23,725 tons ore, 42,626 ounces fine gold, in addition 
to 308 ounces from specimen stone and 4,007 ounces from the 
alluvial. The output of the field has recently diminished, but the 
completion of the projected railway from Port Hedland to Marble 
Bar, will, it is believed, assist the field materially. 

West Pilbara. The West Pilbara field lies between the Pilbara 
field, and the north-western coast in the neighbourhood of Cossack. 
At the Mallina Diggings the gold is associated in the veins with 
stibnite. Their present yield is small. The greater part of the gold 
produced to the end of 1906 has come from the Pilgrim's Rest leases 
at Station Peak, which have produced 9,'151 ounces, out of the total 
of 12,752 ounces vein gold for the field ; to this is to be added 3,255 
ounces placer gold. The veins at Station Peak are in schists in- 
truded by diabase or diorite dykes. 

Ashburton. The Ashburton field lies along the basin of the 
Ashburton river, which reaches the sea at Onslow on the north-west 
coast. Little is known geologically of the country, and nearly all 
of the gold recovered (7,265 ounces) has been from placer deposits, 
and has probably either been derived from veins in clay-slates 
or from conglomerates similar to those of the Nullagine series.^ 

"Maitland, Bull. W.A. Geol. Surv., No. 15. 

b Woodward, Ann. Gen. Rep. Dept. Mines, 189Q, p. 21. 


Gascoyne. The Gascoyne Goldfield is of no present importance, 
having produced to the end of 1906 only 268 ounces alluvial and 218 
ounces vein gold, the latter derived from Archaean rocks. 

Peak Hill. The mines of the Peak Hill Goldfield are situated 
between 24 and 26 S. lat. and 117 and 120 E. long. Its chief 
mining camp is Peak Hill. The country is banded haematite-mag- 
netite-quartz rock, micaceous schist, and banded or granular quartzite 
Intrusive rocks are apparently absent. Great veins or dykes of 
quartz cross the schistose rocks. These are slightly auriferous and 
cut through the productive gold-quartz veins." Depressions in the 
surface of the schists are filled by an iron-stained well-cemented 
conglomerate of recent age, in which gold occurs both free in grains, 
scales, and nuggets, and also in fragments of the original quartz 

Gold is found in the schists in interlacing quartz veinlets dis- 
posed along bands of weathered country, and is also disseminated 
through the adjacent country. Most of the alluvial gold is obtained 
by dry-blowing. The total output of vein gold obtained from vein- 
quartz to the end of 1906 was 204,518 ounces fine, of which the Peak 
Hill mine alone produced 196,289 ounces fine gold. No records have 
been kept of the amount of alluvial gold obtained. 

Murchison. The geology of the Murchison field is now fairly 
well known. The auriferous rocks are metamorphic schist, slate, 
quartzite, and ferruginous sandstone, with which are associated 
granite and quartz-diorite. Numerous veins occur in the quartz- 
diorites. The ridges of the county are generally formed by the 
banded ferruginous quartzites, at the intersections with which the 
quartz reefs are always enriched. Dykes of granite and quartz-diorite 
(approaching tonalite) are numerous. The gangue matrix is quartz, 
and below the water level the veins contain galena and pyrite. The 
gold occurs in shoots, often at the intersection with certain beds. ft 

The auriferous rocks of the northern part of the field are massive 
and foliated greenstone-schists, including diorites, pyroxenites, and 
amphibolites. These occur in belts, some of which are of great 
extent, one being at least 60 miles long by 10 to 15 miles broad. 
The auriferous reefs occur almost entirely within the greenstone- 
schist belts, few of importance traversing the granite. The granitoid 
rocks vary from the biotite-granite of Mount Magnet to a grano- 
diorite, the general characters of which are well described by Gibson. c 
The granodiorites are found near Cue and Nannine. The haematite- 

" Maitland, Bull. Geol. Surv. W.A., No. 4, 1900, p. 40. 
''Woodward, Rep. Dep. Mines. W.A., 1893, pp. 9-11. 

c Bull. Xo. 14, Geol. Surv. W.A., 1904, p. 14. 


quartzite bands in the schist series run northward with the schist 
belts for great distances. The principal centres of the Murchison 
field are Mount Magnet, Day Dawn, Cue, and Nannine. 

The Day Dawn area contains the Great Fingall mine, one of the 
most celebrated of Western Australian mines. Its veins lie entirely 
within the greenstone-schists, the foliation of which is, however, 
apparent only in weathered specimens. The large shoot in the 
Great Fingall had, to 1906, produced 804,854 tons stone of an 
average value of less than an ounce gold per ton, or in all 749,446 
ounces. The shoot occurs at a turn in the reef and has been followed 
down for more than 1,300 feet. The zone of greatest enrichment 
in the shoot Avas determined by the junction of a flat lode on the 
footwall." To May, 1908, the Great Fingall mine had paid 1,612,500 
in dividends. 

The Cue veins lie at the contact of granodiorite with the green- 
stone schists. Some of the veins radiate out into the granitic rock ; 
the others lie in the granodiorite contact zone, and run parallel with 
the contact. 

At Mount Magnet and Boogardie the main auriferous series is 
formed by a belt of more or less highly altered greenstones, which 
extend in a general northerly direction from West Mount Magnet 
through Moyagee as far north as Lake Austin and the town of Cue. 
The belt attains a maximum width of about 15 miles, and includes 
diorite and pyroxenite, together with hornblende- and chloritic 
schists that may merely represent crushed and sheared varieties of 
the former. The greenstones are intersected by numerous faults, 
and are also traversed by belts of laminated quartzites that are 
often highly ferruginous, and that are raised as ridges above the 
surrounding country. 

The greenstones are bounded on either side by beds of granite, 
from which small tongues of aplite emanate. In many portions 
of the district dykes of granite intersect the greenstone. The 
foliation of the greenstone seems to have taken place prior to the 
intrusion by the granite. The laminated haematite-magnetite- 
quartz rocks of Boogardie are traversed by numerous faults, the 
mapping of which is of considerable importance from a mining point 
of view, inasmuch as it is along the intersection of these faults with 
the laminated quartzites that the rich shoots of gold for which the 
district is famous occur. W 7 herever seen, the faults cross the strike 
of the quartzites at right angles, and as the latter are generally 
only from 30 to 60 feet in width, it necessarily follows that the 
width of the ore-shoots is also small, more particularly as they never 
continue into the country on either wall. The fault-fissures are 

a Woodward, Rep. Dept. Mines, W.A., 1906, p. 150. 


invariably filled with brecciated quartzite, re-cemented by chalce- 
donic quartz and traversed by small angular quartz veins. The 
fissures vary from 3 to 6 feet in width. 

Quartz reefs occur plentifully in both the granite and the green- 
stone, though, as a rule, it is only those close to the greenstone which 
have proved to be auriferous to any extent. The shoots in these 
reefs are short, but frequently rich. It is interesting to note that 
the quartz reefs often form the continuation of the faults by which 
the laminated quartzites are intersected. 

The total yield for the Murchison field to the end of 1906 is as 
follows : 

Fine Ounces. 




Day Dawn 
Mount Magnet 







Yalgoo. The Yalgoo field lies in foliated greenstone schists. 
Its veins, and particularly the Emerald Reef, were very rich at the 
surface, but have not been profitable in depth. Only about 4,000 
ounces fine gold are produced annually. The schists are traversed 
by numerous diorite dykes, which, as well as the reefs, strike east 
and west with the foliation of the schists.* To the end of 1906 the 
field had produced 59,962 ounces gold. 

East Murchison. The principal mining centres of the East 
Murchison field are Lawlers, Lake Darlot, Mount Sir Samuel, Lake 
Way, and Black Range. The country is the usual Archaean schist, 
associated with granites and gneisses, and intruded by basic rocks. 
The Lake Darlot field was formerly one of the chief alluvial fields of 
the State, but its placers are now exhausted. At Lawlers the reefs 
occur along the zone of contact between the gneissic granite and the 
greenstone schists. Numerous acidic (granitic and felsitic) veins 
break through the greenstone-schist, and with these are associated 
the gold-quartz reefs. 

The principal mine is the East Murchison United. Its quartz 
veins are intersected by felsitic dykes. The auriferous belt in 
general has a width of 12 to 16 miles, and is continuous between 
Lawlers and Mount Sir Samuel, disappearing at Abbots, a little to 

" Woodward, Rep. Depfr. Mines, 1895, pp. 21-22. 


the north of Mount Sir Samuel. It has thus a total length of some 
50 to 60 miles. The ore deposits are of the following types : 

(a) Reefs at contact of greenstones and granite. 

(b) Normal quartz reefs (fissure veins). 

(c) Lode-formations. 

Reefs of the second class are found both in the granites and in 
the greenstones, but it is only in the latter that they are auriferous. 
As a rule, the reefs of Lawlers are large and low grade." 

Mount Sir Samuel is 32 miles north of Lawlers. Its rocks are 
hard, unweathered, greenstone schists intersected by numerous 
granitic dykes. 

The Black Range district in the west of the East Murchison 
field is characterised in its schist-belts by the banded or laminated 
hsematite-quartzites which here appear to occupy lines of faulting 
since they disturb the older auriferous veins. The returns from the 
two divisions of the East Murchison fields to the end of 1906 are : 

Fine Ounces. 



Black Range 




Mount Margaret In the Mount Margaret goldfield, the 
principal areas are Laverton (Mount Margaret), Mount Morgan, and 
Mount Malcolm. Leonora is the principal mining camp of the 
Mount Malcolm district, and contains one well-known mine, the 
Sons of Gwalia. This mine has produced since mining operations 
commenced 445,591 ounces from 716,549 tons ore. Its vein is in an 
impregnated zone or " lode-formation ' containing numerous 
lenticles of quartz. The workable width of the lode is determined 
entirely by assay. The gold occurs in pay-shoots. 

The country of the Leonora belt must be regarded as a single 
area of basic rock, which has been more or less crushed, foliated, and 
completely converted into schists, the latter structure being on the 
whole the most usual ; to such schistose zones the auriferous reefs 
are almost entirely confined. The greenstone on the eastern side 
of the belt is highly metamorphosed, the great development of the 
banded and haematite-bearing quartz-rock forming one of the most 
notable scenic features of the district. Along the summit of the 
ridge, extending from Mount George to Leonora, and thence to Lake 
Raeside, outcrops of this quartz are found in the form of bands or 
lenses, from 200 yards to more than half-a-mile in length, and from 

"Gibson, Ann. Rep. Mines Dept. W.A., 1906, p. 154. 


1 foot to 100 feet in thickness, and projecting several feet above 
the surface in the form of perpendicular walls. The best veins on 
the Leonora field occur near the contact of the granite and the 
schists. Veins carrying gold are known to pass from the schist into 
the granite. 

The Mount Morgan district, like the Mount Malcolm, possesses 
one mine of outstanding importance, viz., the Westralia Mount 
Morgans. Its outcrop-ore was exceedingly rich, 3,000 tons yielding 
at the rate of 4 J ounces gold per ton. The ore occurs in lenses in 
the schists, the lenses having an average width of 100 feet, and 
overlapping each other. The gold is found in shoots within the 
lenses. To a depth of 150 feet, the oxidised ore yielded 2 ounces 
per ton, but in the sulphide zone the average value of the ore 
crushed has been 11 dwts. To the end of 1906 239,461 fine 
ounces gold had been obtained from 386,221 tons ore. 

The Laverton (Mount Margaret) district contains several 
valuable mines ; the most prominent are the Ida H. (Laverton) 
with a yield of 57,792 ounces, the Craggiemore (Laverton) with 
35,336 ounces to the end of the year 1906, and the Lancefield, 
with a yield in 1907 worth 25,993. Its geological characters are 
similar to those of the already described fields. 

The various districts of Mount Margaret field have yielded, to 
the end of 1906, as follows : 

Fine Ounces. 



Mount Malcolm 

Mount Morgan 

Laverton (Mount Margaret) . . 





North Coolgardie. The North Coolgardie field is divided into 
four districts : Menzies, Ularring, Niagara, and Yerilla. Its geo- 
logical characters are identical with those of Kalgoorlie and Cool- 
gardie further south. The Menzies goldfield has been described by 
H. P. Woodward." The country of the auriferous veins is a hard 
greenstone-schist, displaying, as is often the case, schistosity only in 
the zone of weathering. Both basic (amphibolite-) and acid schists 
occur, the latter being sericite-schist and gneiss. Numerous felsitic 
dykes are intrusive into the basic schists. The richer auriferous 
veins of the Menzies district are irregular segregation veins, occurring 
either as pipes or as a series of lenticular masses. The gold occurs 
in shoots in the quartz. The greatest depth to which a shoot has 
been worked is the 1,600 feet reached in the Queensland Menzies 

Bull. Geol. Surv. W.A., No. 22, 190G. 


mine. In the Lady Shenton mine the pipes or shoots, though 
well-defined, persisted only to a depth of 800 feet. 

The Ularring district lies in the south-west of the goldfield. 
Its principal centres are Ularring, Davyhurst, Mulline, and Mul- 
warrie. Its rocks are the greenstone schists of the " Auriferous 
Series." The veins occur mainly in lode-formations." The gold 
is found in shoots. 

The Niagara district has only one large mine, viz., the Cosmo- 
politan at Kookynie, which to the end of 1906 had obtained 238,412 
fine ounces from 490,242 long tons ore. Unlike the ore-bodies of 
most Westralian goldfields, its veins traverse granite. The principal 
vein is from 6 to 10 feet in width. 

The Yerilla district is in the south-east portion of the North 
Coolgardie field. Its chief camps are Yarri, Edjudina, and Pendinnie. 
At Eucalyptus, in the Edjudina district, the diabase rock is so closely 
intersected by quartz veins as to form an auriferous stock. 

The following table shows the relative importance of the 
various districts of the North Coolgardie field : 

Yield to end of 1906. 




Alluvial. 6 







Yilgarn. Southern Cross, the principal district of the Yilgarn 
goldfield, was opened in 1887. The rocks of the Yilgarn Hills and of 
Southern Cross are mica-schist, mica-slate, and shaly quartzite, 
with many diorite dykes and quartz veins. The schistose rocks 
have been intruded by granite at Southern Cross itself. The country 
of the veins is a hornblende-schist. The principal vein is Fraser's, 
in which the ore occurs in lenticular shoots. The yield of gold from 
Yilgarn to end of 1906 has been 267,128 ounces gold from 623,677 
tons ore crushed. 

Coolgardie. The Coolgardie goldfield is divided into two dis- 
tricts, Coolgardie and Kunanalling. The Coolgardie mines were 
the earliest discovered of the great mines of Western Australia. 
Alluvial gold was found in June, 1892, and three months later the 

a Gibson, Bull. Geol. Surv. W.A., No. 12, 1903. 

" The official return of alluvial gold is always less than the true output, and is often, 
indeed, only a small fraction of it. 


rich outcrop of the Bayley's Reward Reef 'was uncovered by the 
original prospectors, Bay ley and Ford. 

The schists of Coolgardie belong to the main Auriferous 
Series of Western Australia. They lie as long narrow hornblendic 
and talcose belts in granitic rocks/ 1 The schistose structure 
is developed only in weathered zones. Intrusive through 
the schists are numerous diorites and acid eruptive rocks that, 
as a rule, conform with the general strike of the enclosing 
rocks. The acid intrusives occur as narrow dykes trending towards 
the granite. In some cases they may be seen to change in the 
direction of their strike from a coarse granitic type to a highly 
quartzose rock (the alaskite of Spurr). These quartzose dykes pass 
into quartz veins that are invariably barren, although leaders or 
spurs from them may show gold. Vein gold occurs at Coolgardie, 
both in " lode-formations " and in reefs. The former are generally 
lenticular masses of highly altered schist, through which run numerous 
small quartz veinlets. These masses invariably thin out when 
harder country is met with, though the quartz veinlets may unite 
and continue as a strong low-grade reef. The boundaries of the 
" lode-formations " may be determined only by assay. On the 
whole, they have not proved of great economic importance. The 
quartz-reefs also occur in the schists, either as well-defined continuous 
veins or more generally as lenses connected in strike only by fissure 
planes. Lenses parallel in strike and dip often overlap both 
horizontally and vertically. The gold occurs in shoots of great value 
and is nearly always enclosed within a quartz matrix. The minerals 
ordinarily associated in the vein with the gold are pyrites, mispickel, 
sulphides of copper, and arsenopyrite. The last is considered the 
associate most favourable for gold. Pyrrhotite also is met with. 
Molybdenite and galena are rare. 

The principal mines of Coolgardie in 1907 were the Bayley's 
and Bayley's Consols. The former had produced to the end of 
1906 more than 100,000 ounces of fine gold. The majority of the 
Coolgardie veins failed in depth and the camp at the present time 
shows but little activity. In the early days of the field, rich alluvial 
deposits were found in the vicinity. The largest nugget unearthed 
weighed 607 ounces in the crude state. 

The mining centres outside Coolgardie are of comparatively 
little importance. They are Bonnievale, where the veins are in 
hard grey granite, and Burbanks, where one mine had produced, 
to the end of 1906, gold to the amount of 126,352 fine ounces. 

The Kunanalling division lies to the north of Coolgardie. 
It is widely known rather on account of its rich cement-deposits 

" Blatchford, Bull. W. A. Cool. Surv., No. 3, 1899. 


than for gold-quartz veins. The cement is similar to that 
at Kanowna, consisting of rounded and sub-angular fragments 
cemented by ferruginous silicate of alumina. The gold, almost 
without exception, occurred in the cement, and was largely derived 
from neighbouring veins, though a small portion may have been 
deposited from solution. 

Broad Arrow. The Broad Arrow goldfield is one of the 
smallest of the West Australian goldfields, having an area of only 
590 square miles. Its principal camps are Black Flag, Paddington, 
Broad Arrow, and Bardoc. The rocks are similar to those of Cool- 
gardie, the basic schists being intruded by numerous acidic dykes. 
With Coolgardie, Kalgoorlie, and Kanowna, it has furnished the 
bulk of the placer gold of the State. Its officially recorded yield of 
alluvial gold has been 15,790 fine ounces, and of vein gold, 247,985 
fine ounces. 

East Coolgardie The East Coolgardie goldfield, comprising 
an area of only 632 square miles, includes the world-famous Kal- 
goorlie camp with its " Golden Mile." The chief mines of Kalgoorlie 
are the Great Boulder, Ivanhoe, Horseshoe, Perseverance, Oroya- 
Brownhill, Associated, and Lake View Consols. The deepest shaft 
is that of the Boulder, which is more than 2,000 feet in depth. The 
productive rocks of the field are comprised within a long narrow 
belt, flanked by granites and gneiss. The schists are, in the main, 
amphibolitic where they have been der